Being a loving parent or spouse does not just involve being there for your loved ones in the present. Responsible people will make sure that their loved ones are cared for in the event of their death.
Preparing for death can be difficult for everyone involved, and matters of divorce or other family changes can make things more complicated. When the time comes, the last thing you will want to do is trouble yourself with a lot of legal paperwork.
Because they want to be prepared, it is not unusual for people to ask their attorneys how to set up a living trust.
You may have heard of wills, but you may not be aware of how setting up a living trust could benefit you and your loved ones.
If you want to learn of a reliable and simple way to care for your loved ones in the afterlife, read on to learn more.
Why You Should Create a Living Trust
A living trust is a written legal document that allows your assets to be placed into a trust for your benefit during your lifetime. Once you pass, they are transferred to designated beneficiaries of your choosing (also known as a successor trustee).
Some consider setting up a living trust because they want to avoid the headaches of probate.
Even if you have a valid will, your estate will need to go through probate. Court proceedings will distribute your assets through your executor.
A living trust does not need to go through probate. Your successor trustee will pay your debts and distribute your assets in accordance with your instructions.
Not having your living trust go through probate means that your assets can be distributed quickly. Sometimes wills can take months or years to be determined.
Others choose living trusts because they value their privacy. Wills are on public record and the distribution of assets can easily be found.
How to Set up a Living Trust
Now that you know the benefits of a living trust, you may be interested in learning how to make a trust for your family and assets.
Setting up a trust of any kind can be a simple affair as long as you have the help of an experienced lawyer. But to make things easier for them, make sure that you take these steps before you head to their office.
List All of Your Assets
Some people can underestimate the amount of assets they own that need to be distributed appropriately. Property, stocks, and money are assets, but so are prized possessions like jewelry, fine china, and collectibles.
Making a list of all your assets will be able to give a lawyer a clear picture of your estate. It will also make it easy for you to divide up assets fairly.
While you are at it, be sure to gather important paperwork like titles, deeds, stock certificates, and life insurance policies in case your lawyer needs them.
Determine Your Beneficiaries
Do not make the mistake of waiting until you meet with your lawyer to choose your beneficiaries. Take all of the time you need to think about how you want to distribute your assets.
While you are thinking about dividing up your assets, it can be equally important to think about who you would not want to give assets to. If you are going to keep assets from a former spouse or other family members, be sure to bring it up to your lawyer.
Choose Your Successor Trustee
Your successor trustee will pay debts and distribute your assets in accordance with your instructions after you pass. It is also important to remember that they will handle your affairs if you are incapacitated.
That is why it is important to choose someone you trust.
Your successor does not necessarily have to be someone you are related to. It could be a trusted friend, lawyer, or anyone you think could best handle your affairs.
Protect Your Family
Now that you know how to set up a living trust, you are ready to start putting it together.
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