Living Trusts are an efficient way to transfer property, upon your death, to the relatives, friends and/or charities you’ve chosen (your beneficiaries). A Living Trust is similar to a Will with one important difference: property left by a Will, in many cases, must go through a court probate process. Probate can take up to a year or more to settle and cost thousands of dollars in court fees, publication fees, probate referee fees and document preparation or attorney fees. Putting ones assets into a Living Trust will avoid the high cost and time it takes for a court probate proceeding. Your assets are distributed promptly, privately and efficiently to your beneficiaries without the need for a court order.
Living Trusts are sometimes called “inter vivos” (Latin for “among the living”) because they are created while you’re alive. They’re also called “revocable” because you can revoke or change them at any time.
Some paperwork is necessary to establish a probate-avoidance Living Trust and transfer your property to it. While you live, you effectively keep ownership of all property that you’ve technically transferred to your Living Trust. You can do whatever you want to with any trust property, including selling it, spending it or giving it away. Basically a Revocable Living Trust is merely a piece of paper that becomes operational upon your death. At that point, it allows your trust property to be transferred, privately and outside of probate, to the people and/or organizations you name as the beneficiaries of your Trust.
At About Justice we streamline the process of setting up your Living Trust for you. In many cases your documents can be prepared on short notice.