The revocable living trust is an effective estate planning tool that you may want to consider as an alternative to a last will as an asset transfer vehicle.
One reason why people who understand the facts often opt for living trusts is because they enable probate avoidance.
Probate is the legal process of estate administration. Creditors and claimants have an opportunity to step forward to seek satisfaction during probate. Anyone who wanted to challenge the will could present a case before the probate court.
Because of the above probate is time-consuming, and this is one of the reasons why people sometimes choose to avoid it. Another is the fact that there are also expenses that go along with the probate process that can add up considerably.
If you are among those who have created a living trust to avoid probate you should ask yourself if the terms of the trust still reflect your current wishes. People sometimes create a trust at a certain point in time and then stash the document away, more or less forgetting about it.
As time goes on certain things can take place. Perhaps there has been an addition or subtraction to the family. You may have gone through a divorce, and your financial status may have improved to the point where you are exposed to the estate tax.
Sometimes you are immediately aware of the fact that your estate plan needs to be updated after something in your life changes. Should this be the case you need to take action.
If you’re not sure about the terms of your trust because so much time has passed since you first created it you may want to look it over sooner rather than later.