Do You Really Need a Living Trust?
While living trusts offer a number of advantages, most notably the ability to avoid probate, it would be an overstatement to say that everyone needs one. In fact, for many people, wills are still the best choice in making end of life and estate provisions.
If a person is truly intent on avoiding probate, living trusts are not the only ways to facilitate this. A person may freely transfer their assets or property to another in the weeks or months before death without worrying about these gifts requiring probate. Further, a person may create a pay-on-death provision to their bank accounts or transfer their property to joint tenancy to ensure that the property is transferred to their heirs without the need for probate.
Living trusts are more complicated estate tools than traditional wills. Therefore they are more expensive to draft and require maintenance after they are put into place. Remember, a living trust functions by transferring your items away during your life, but allowing you to maintain control of them. A healthy, middle-aged person may not be prepared to take such legal steps and it may make sense for them to instead have a will just in case something were to happen to them.
Avoiding probate is a worthy goal for many people who have significant estates. If, however, your estate is modest, you do not need to worry as much about the cost of probate. In those situations, a will is a simpler and less time-consuming estate tool to utilize.
Depending on your situation, you may wish to set up a will or a trust — or both. Learn more about the options available today by consulting a skilled and knowledgeable Florida estate planning attorney with Charles Law Office.