Currently, a lot of people are choosing revocable living trusts rather than relying on a joint ownership or will when it comes to real estate planning. They like the time savings and cost with the additional control over assets that living trusts can provide. For example, a living trust that is properly prepared get away with the costly, public, and time-consuming court procedures when incapacitated (guardianship or conservatorship), and death (probate). Living trust plays an important role in providing for your spouse while not forgetting to set a portion for your children, which can be beneficial for second marriages. Your children and grandchildren’s inheritances are protected against creditors, courts, divorce proceedings, spouses, and irresponsible spending.
One major mistake that many people do is sending their assets under the court system that don’t really fund their trusts. Funding trust refers to the process of transferring assets from the person who owns the property to his trust. The process involves physically changing the titles of assets from the owner’s name or joint names to the name of the trust, that also changes beneficiary designations to the trust. The trustee you indicate controls the assets in your living trust, and most likely, you will name yourself as the trustee so you have a complete control over your assets. When it comes to the key benefits of living trust, it includes being able to remove assets anytime you want, and continue buying and selling assets like what you are able to do at the moment. You won’t avoid probate if you have already signed your living trust document without changing the titles and beneficiary designations. Also remember that the only assets you put in your living trust are the ones that you can only control. It is very important to fund or transfer your assets to your trust to avoid probate at death as well as court intervention when incapacitated while you are able to do so. If you forget to add funds to your living trust, your attorney can prepare a “pour over will” which is like your safety net, so it catches any forgotten asset and allow it to be sent to your trust.
The bottom line is, it is your sole responsibility to ensure that all of the assets you want to be included in your living trust. Your lawyer can help you transfer your real estate, provide you with the sample letters and instructions for your other assets. If you are already aware and get used to the process, then you can gain confidence in doing it yourself, and even save on legal fees. AmeriEstate can definitely help you in managing your living trust, you number one partner when it comes to will, trust, and inheritance.Case Study: My Experience With Plans