Who Is the Best Probate Lawyer?

With all the craziness that happens in life, almost all adults mostly put estate planning at the bottom of their to-do lists. Because why focus on it now? I mean it’s not like you will die anytime soon, right? But, this is actually a very essential life task and you never know you need to start this process until you realize the ticking clock that is your life. But what happens when the unexpected comes? As stated earlier, life can be crazy and it can be unpredictable. This is why it is crucial to set up a will. But what is another way to ensure that your assets are protected and handled properly? A living trust may be the answer. Since a trust is a legal arrangement that allows you to decide how your assets are managed and distributed both during your lifetime and after you die. If you just a will though, do not worry! In either situation, your assets will be distributed the way you intended. 

The Difference Between Living Trusts and Wills

The difference between living trusts and wills is quite apparent. In a will, any instruction you put will not go into effect until your death. With a living trust, it can go into effect as soon as you are incapacitated or at death. However, there are certain things that you cannot discuss in a trust that you will need to get a will. These trusts can also help you avoid the probate process together. Since a living trust specifies how property is to be disposed of at your death, but since it exists before your death, its validity does not need to be acknowledged by a probate proceeding. However, Living trusts are marketed in many states as a great way to avoid probate, but if you are appointed an independent administrator of the deceased estate, you are allowed to make any decisions of the estate without the permission of the court. A living trust can also be more complicated or cost more than if you were to do a will. However, you can have both a will and a living trust in place. Now, what factors would make it a good idea to get a living trust? 

You have real estate in another state 

Impending disability is likely

Heightened privacy concerns 

Will be contested likely 

Post-retirement, stable assets 

Of course, you should ultimately discuss with an attorney if a living trust is a good idea in your situation. Trusts are not one-size fits and should not be the only thing you think of when you consider what you want to do with your assets. A living trust does not need to go through probate which can prevent the many months that it does take for a will. Because of the probate process, assets cannot be passed on to the beneficiaries until the process has concluded. With a living trust, it avoids waiting and allows assets to be distributed upon death. A trust also can avoid probate in more than one state as long as the assets owned in those states are included in the trust. 

With a living trust, you would name yourself the trustee and name a successor trustee which is who will handle your trust after you pass away and distribute the assets according to your instructions. This is the same process if you were incapacitated and no longer able to control your assets. The best option to see if a living trust is fit for your situation is to see who is the best probate lawyer in your area and contact them. 

Thanks to our friends at Brandy Austin Law Firm for their insight into estate law.