Living Trust Q & A

What is a living trust?

A living trust is a written legal document through which your assets are placed into a trust for your benefit during your lifetime and then transferred to designated beneficiaries at your death by your chosen representative.

What should I put in my trust?

We recommend that you put all of your property in your trust except for retirement benefits or individual retirement accounts (IRAs).

When is an estate large enough to justify a trust?

If your estate is larger than $50,000, then we would strongly encourage you to consider a trust. One of the main benefits is to avoid probate expenses at your death. However, a secondary benefit of a trust is to avoid guardianship proceedings later in life.

If I have a living trust, do I need a will?

Yes. Your will will serve as a safety net. It will catch anything that you do not get put into your trust during your lifetime and will pour it over into your trust after your death. A will can also provide for the guardian of your minor children should you die while you have minor children.

Why should I do a living trust?

You should consider a living trust as a way to protect your estate if you live too long and to transfer your estate at the time of your death without the expense or time of probate. If you become incompetent and are not able to manage your assets, you have named a person to handle your assets for your benefit until you die. By doing this, you avoid the expense of setting up a guardianship.

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