Thinking about your demise and how your estate will be divided up may be the farthest thought from your mind. However, by creating a last will and testament, you ensure your last wishes are heard and carried out. Depending on your circumstances, consider setting up a living trust. A revocable living trust offers the following benefits over a will:
- Your estate plan remains private — Probate pleadings are part of public record — meaning your will, who your beneficiaries are and what inheritance you left can be viewed by anyone. A revocable living trust on the other hand, is a private contract between you and your trustee.
- Allows for mental disability planning — Within a revocable living trust, you can include instructions on how your mental health should be determined, how you wish to be taken care if you are mentally disabled and who will be responsible for managing your property.
- You can avoid probate — Avoiding probate is one of the main benefits offered by revocable living trusts. Even if you create a detailed last will and testament, the probate process must still occur. A revocable living trust avoids probate because it allows you to set up a confidential contract between you and your trustee and when you pass, your successor trustee then transfers ownership of your assets and properties to the beneficiaries you name in the trust agreement.
If you are planning your estate and are thinking about whether you would like to make a last will and testament or set up a living trust, you should consult with a knowledgeable lawyer.