Can you believe it? 2017 is already almost in the books. In the midst of holiday shopping, you may want to consider adding a living trust to your list. Here are three reasons why living trusts are the gift that keeps giving for generations to come:
Privacy and Ease of Administration
Let’s face it: probate is the last thing you want to deal with when grieving the loss of a loved one. By contrast, living trusts maintain privacy and provide ease of administration. That’s because trust administration is handled in-house, i.e. outside the court system. What’s more, the trustee – unlike the personal representative in a probate case – does not have to comply with burdensome notice requirements and strict deadlines for completing key tasks.
Living Trusts Protect Beneficiaries
Sadly, no one has a perfect life. Whether it be from debt and creditor issues, tax problems or a shaky marriage, we want to protect our families. Structured properly, living trusts give you the opportunity to do so. This ensures that your hard-earned money goes only to the people you want.
As medical advances allow us to live longer, the risk of incapacity increases. Unpleasant as the thought may be, at some point you may become unable to manage your financial affairs. Durable powers of attorney are a good start. However, successor trustees usually have an easier time dealing with banks and financial institutions than an agent acting under a durable power of attorney. Living trusts also enable you to specifically define what constitutes incapacity depending on your individual circumstances.
December is a time when we reflect on the year that was. In addition, many of us enjoy time away from work. When making your list and checking it twice, think about estate planning and living trusts.