Writing a will is the fundamental basis of any estate planning endeavor, but your will ultimately goes through probate after your passing. Passing down your belongings through a trust, however, can ensure your estate avoids probate.
Placing your assets into a living trust allows you to continually access, revoke, or amend the items in the trust during your lifetime. By setting up your trust properly, you can also prevent the need for those assets to go through probate.
How does a living trust eliminate the need for probate?
Creating a trust entails naming the beneficiaries who will inherit the assets in the trust after your passing. You will also likely name a successor trustee who will step in to administer the process of distributing the assets to your beneficiaries. The trust itself holds title to the assets you place in it, therefore eliminating the need for probate during the inheritance process.
How does avoiding probate benefit your family?
Going through probate requires a certain amount of expense and a large investment of time. There is also the possibility that family members might feud over their rights to inheritance or that someone might attempt to contest the validity of the will. While it is still a good idea to have a will to account for items you cannot include in a trust, you can save your family a great deal of hassle by negating the need for probate as much as possible.
Trusts and wills work in tandem to make up a complete estate plan. By placing certain assets within a living trust, you can eliminate or lessen the time your family must spend in probate.