What Types of Advantages Do Living Trusts Offer?
Living trusts are becoming an increasingly common tool to distribute one’s assets after their death. While traditionally people utilized wills for this purpose, probate courts have complicated the process, often tying up estates for months. To circumvent the probate process, more families are exploring other creative options for legally distributing their estate. Living trusts have emerged as one of the most popular options.
Aside from allowing a family to avoid the time and expense of probate court, living trusts also offer a number of other advantages. For starters, this estate tool insulates the estate from court proceedings. It is more difficult to attack the validity of a living trust than a will because it is a document that a person uses and interacts with throughout their lives prior to their death. In other words, unlike a will that is sometimes drafted only once and put away after that, living trusts require a drafter’s continued involvement after its creation. This constant revision has the effect of affirming the contents of the trust, leaving it less vulnerable to attacks regarding intent.
For someone to successful attack a trust, he or she would need to either prove that you were mentally incompetent when you drafted it or that it is a flawed document (for example, one with a forged signature). These circumstances are rare and so these documents can generally survive a court challenge.
Living trusts are also excellent estate tools because they name a trustee, who can step in in the event that you become incapacitated or otherwise unable to handle your affairs. This feature can be a real relief to family members who may be overwhelmed and uncertain as to how to proceed under such circumstances. A living trust makes these decisions for them and assures you and your family that your estate will be well managed both before and after your death.
If you are interested in drafting a living trust, speak with an experienced Florida estate planning lawyer at Charles Law Office.