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Is a living trust right for you?

If you haven't worked in an estate planning law firm or studied the nuances of financial planning, you might have a vague idea about the various types of trusts, but you could be unclear about their differences. Here, we'll answer two questions about living trusts:

What is a living trust?

Trusts create an arrangement in which specific property will be surrendered to the ownership of a legal entity known as a trust. The living trust will be managed by a designated trustee for the benefit of someone else according to the detailed instructions laid out in the trust. In some cases, the trust creator will serve as the trustee and beneficiary of the trust.

When the trust creator has the ability to revoke the trust, it's known as a "revocable trust." A living trust is one that is set up while the trust creator is alive rather than other types of trusts which get created upon the death of the individual.

Why are living trusts useful?

Living trusts are often set up to for the purposes of bypassing probate. Probate is the required process by which a court confirms a decedent's will, estate assets, estate liabilities, settles remaining debts and tax liabilities and distributes assets to heirs and beneficiaries. Probate is costly and time-consuming. It's also public. A living trust allows for an immediate private distribution of specific assets to the intended beneficiaries after death.

If you think you and your family will find a living trust useful as a part of your estate plan, you may want to look deeper into the various options available that could suit your needs.

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