How can a living trust help your estate?
- For most clients, a living trust will avoid probate for all of the assets that have been transferred to the trust. Probate is a costly, time-consuming process that many estates do not need.
However, there are some cases in which having a living trust will not provide protection against probate because the estate has few probate assets.
- A trust also can avoid a conservatorship, which can be expensive, time-consuming and restrictive. Conservatorships are needed when an individual can no longer manage his or her financial affairs. A conservator is appointed by a court and given the power to manage the conservatee's financial affairs, and also make decisions concerning the conservatee's living arrangements. A properly prepared trust can provide a successor trustee who will manage the trust for the benefit of the trustor, sometimes avoiding the need for a conservatorship.
- For married couples with more than $1,000,000 in net worth, a living trust can reduce or eliminate federal estate taxes by setting up an Exemption Trust.