It’s common to think of trusts as tools only for wealthy families. Contrary to popular belief, nearly every family in Michigan can benefit from a trust. Living trusts in particular have become increasingly favorable estate planning tools because of their many benefits. A living trust is a legal document that basically places a person’s property and assets in a trust during the trust creator’s lifetime and details where he or she would like these things to go upon death. Here are a few advantages of a living trust.
The ability to avoid probate is why many people choose to create a living trust. Probate is a court-supervised process of administering a person’s estate after his or her death. The probate process can take several months or longer, is public and often very expensive. However, in a living trust, property and assets are distributed according to the trust creator’s instructions without court intervention, thus avoiding probate.
Living trusts are private documents. The contents of a living trust do not become part of the public record, so no one can search public records at a later date to find out about the distribution of an estate. A will, on the other hand, is public and goes through the probate process. Anything in a will becomes public knowledge.
Living trusts can be beneficial for any individual who wants to secure his or her assets. Although the process of setting up a trust sounds complicated, it doesn’t have to be time-consuming or complex. Families in Michigan who have questions or are interested in trusts, wills or any aspect of estate planning may want to consider contacting a legal representative. A knowledgeable attorney can answer questions and help families protect their property and assets.