If you would like to avoid probate, one option is to rely on a living trust. Instead of going through probate, you will appoint an individual to handle your trust after you pass away. This will give you more control over what will be done with your assets after you pass away.
Trusts are More Efficient
A living trust can make the process of distributing your assets much more efficient. The process will often be completed in only a few weeks. Your loved ones may also save money because they will not have to pay for the cost of a lawyer unless they wish to contest the trust.
A Will Can Be Contested
A family member might contest a trust if they discover that the portion of the benefits they would have received is reduced drastically. Another reason why a trust might be contested is if there is an individual who is suddenly added to the trust unexpectedly. In most states, only individuals who are beneficiaries of the trust can contest it.
A Trust Isn't Difficult to Create
A living trust is not any more difficult to create than a will. However, you might want to hire a will and trust law attorney so you can make sure that the trust will help you achieve your goals. For example, you will need to fill out a lot of paperwork, such as a new deed if you will be leaving your house to someone through the trust. The paperwork has become easier than it was in the past, but there can still be quite a lot of it.
A Trust Will Maintain Your Privacy
If you can't decide whether you would like to use a living trust and a will or only a will, keep in mind that trust will allow you to maintain your privacy. When you use a will, all of the information associated with your will becomes a part of the public record. Only a creditor may be able to learn about a trust if they choose to take legal action against your estate. The creditor may be able to have assets seized to pay off debts.
You Should Still Create a Will
You will still need a lawyer to create a will because this will serve as a backup to your trust. If you pass away before you are able to transfer property to your trust, a will would determine how the property would be distributed.
Contact a will and trust attorney for more information.