Planning for the future often involves a visit to a lawyer that handles wills, trusts, and estates, and this is something everyone should do if they have anything of value. When you begin looking into these things, you may wonder if a living will is the right instrument for you to use in your planning. Living wills are great for many situations, and here are three things you should know about them.
You Still Need a Will
A living trust is something you will create while you are alive, and you will be named the trustee on it. As the trustee, you will handle the trust while you are alive, and this allows you to add things to it. The trust is simply a listing of all the assets you own, but it also contains instructions on how to divide the assets when you pass away.
You should still have a will though. If you create a living trust and live another 10 or 20 years, you may forget to add assets to it. Because the assets would not be part of the trust, there could be problems transferring these assets to your beneficiaries.
By having a will, you could include instructions for any assets that are not part of the trust. You could do this by stating in your will that any other assets should be given to a certain person, and you can name that person. If this is not stated in the will, these particular assets will not be transferred to the beneficiaries until a court orders them to be.
It Helps You Avoid Probate Court
The key benefit of having a living trust is that it will make it easy for your beneficiaries to receive your assets after you die. Your assets and estate will not have to go through probate court if you have a living will. When an estate is settled through probate court, it can be a hassle and can be time-consuming and costly.
Probate court is used to ensure that your debts are paid after you die, and that your assets are transferred to the rightful owners. A judge oversees this entire process, and it can take months to settle an estate in this manner. According to Find Law, settling an estate that has a living will only takes a few weeks. The other benefit is that your beneficiaries can avoid paying large court fees and attorney fees during this time.
You Can Use It To Protect Children and Special Needs Family Members
You should realize that a living trust is much more than a will. A will states the names of the beneficiaries and what they will receive, but a living trust allows you to do much more than that. With a living trust, you can make arrangements for minor children or for family members with special needs.
When you do this, you can set aside money that will be used to provide care for these individuals, and you can include instructions as to how this money should be used. For example, if you have young kids, you could designate a certain amount of the money to be used only for their college educations.
Living trusts are great for people that have a lot of assets, and for people that have complicated financial situations. They are also ideal for people with young kids, and for people that have children with disabilities.
To learn more about wills, estate planning, and living trusts, contact lawyers that specializes in these things. Your lawyer can help you understand each of these things, and he or she will help you choose the right ones for your situation.