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A living trust is essential to avoid probate

You have worked hard to build your legacy. When you pass, you want all your property and belongings going to your loved ones. Unfortunately, probate fees take up a large chunk of your assets. That is why a living trust is an important addition to your will.

 

Reasons why probate is unideal

Probate is a court-supervised process used to distribute your property. This is an unideal scenario for many reasons. The process itself takes anywhere from six months to two years. Completing all the phases typically requires lawyers and other professionals. It’s a series of time consuming steps, from your will being filed in probate court to final distribution of your estate.

The probate process could immensely impact your loved ones. Court costs, attorneys’ fees and executors’ fees come out of your estate first. Then, the probate court distributes the remainder. It will be much less than what you originally intended. It is a long road, with many expenses and inconveniences along the way.

A living trust helps avoid probate

Avoiding the probate system is possible with a living trust. Placing your assets in a trust gives you control of your property, but the trustees technically own them. Since you legally don’t own the trust property, your loved ones won’t have to go through the probate process. It is also suggested that you include any jewelry, stocks and bonds, and business interests.

A living trust is paramount in avoiding probate, but does not completely take the place of a will. A back-up will is important to have for any property that’s not transferred to the trust. Your beneficiaries can still receive any additional property if it’s outlined in the will. They won’t have to hassle with long waiting periods and hefty fees in either of these cases.

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