Top 5 Benefits of a Living Trust

A living trust, also known as a revocable living trust or inter vivos trust, is a legal document that allows an individual (the grantor or settlor) to place their assets into a trust during their lifetime and specify how those assets should be managed and distributed both during their lifetime and after their death. The individual typically serves as the trustee of their living trust, retaining control over the assets, and they can make changes to the trust or revoke it entirely if they wish. Here are the top five benefits of a living trust:

Avoiding Probate
One of the primary advantages of a living trust is that it can help assets pass to beneficiaries without going through the probate process. Probate can be time-consuming, costly, and a matter of public record. By using a living trust, assets are distributed according to the trust’s terms, bypassing the probate process and maintaining privacy.

Maintaining Control
While alive and competent, the grantor has full control over the assets in the trust. They can buy, sell, or manage the assets as they see fit. This control allows for flexibility and the ability to adapt to changing circumstances.

Incapacity Planning
A living trust can provide for the smooth management of your assets if you become incapacitated. You can designate a successor trustee to take over the management of the trust assets, ensuring that your financial affairs are handled according to your wishes.

Unlike a will, which becomes a matter of public record during probate, a living trust remains private. This means that the terms of the trust and the distribution of assets are kept confidential, away from public scrutiny.

Living trusts are highly flexible and can be tailored to your specific needs and objectives. You can include a wide range of assets in the trust, from real estate and bank accounts to investments and personal property. You can also designate how and when beneficiaries receive their inheritances, providing for special circumstances or asset protection.

While living trusts offer these benefits, they may not be necessary or suitable for everyone. The decision to create a living trust should be made after careful consideration of your individual circumstances, assets, and estate planning goals. Estate Planning Law Office of Jonathon L. Petty, Inc. can help you determine whether a living trust is the right option for you and how to set it up effectively. Contact our office at (559) 374-2223 or fill out our contact form and we will be in touch to schedule a meeting.