Want to avoid probate? Are you sure?
There are ways to engineer your estate in such a way that probate will probably not be necessary. Usually, planning your estate in that way involves establishing a “living trust” and then changing title to most or all of your assets. Then, any assets that you acquire or exchange must also be titled in the name of the Trust. If you successfully make the transfers, titling and maintenance, there might be nothing to put through probate at the time of your death.
But, there are “down sides” too. First (and perhaps foremost) is cost. It is almost always more expensive to prepare a trust agreement, and properly fund (transfer assets into) a trust. Then it must be maintained, which will require documents, paperwork, and continued planning.
A Last Will & Testament is more straightforward, easier to maintain, less expensive, and may provide you with the same peace of mind. And a Will comes with some benefits that a Trust may not, including a date certain for the termination of any creditor’s claim against your estate.
There ARE good situations for a trust. They include tax planning for large estates, planning for a special needs child, and planning for blended families. A trust can be quite effective for these situations.
As with other areas of the law, meeting your goals and objectives in the most effective, and efficient, way is our goal. Contact us to discuss your needs and situation. We can help you put your affairs in order, so that your family does not have to.
If you are looking to avoid probate, call or email us today. We are ready to help you through this difficult process.