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Do you need a living trust? Think about these facts

When you're building an estate plan, one part of the plan that you might want to develop is a living trust. Living trusts, which can also be called inter vivos, are trusts that can be revoked by the trust's creator. You can use that trust for as long as you'd like during your life (and to your benefit). After you pass away, it then passes on to your beneficiaries.

There are positives and negatives to creating living trusts. If you're not familiar with them, here's a short run of information on the benefits you might enjoy by having one.

Why should you consider a living trust?

There are many reasons why you may want to consider having a living trust.

  • It reduces your estate taxes
  • It helps you protect your minor children
  • It gives a trustee the opportunity to withhold and distribute funds to beneficiaries in line with your wishes
  • You have your assets placed in a safe situation
  • Your assets stay in the family

One of the major benefits of a living trust is that you can revoke it at any time. Unlike unrevocable trusts, you can change the beneficiaries, eliminate the trust completely or change the terms of the asset distributions you've set up.

Another excellent reason to have a living trust is the potential to help your family avoid probate. Probate is a long, tedious legal process that is used to determine how to distribute your assets. With trusts, you're assigning those assets at death. There's no question who they were meant to go to.

Keep your privacy with a living trust

When you die, you may want to maintain your privacy and to protect your family. This is particularly true if you're leaving behind a large sum of money.

Keeping your privacy is an often overlooked, but important, reason to have a trust in place. A good trust sets things up so that your family can stay out of court and out of the public eye. If they have to go through probate, all of your assets could end up being disclosed to the public. That could hurt your beneficiaries, especially if they've suddenly become wealthy.

Your attorney can talk to you more about living trusts and the different forms of trusts you may want to consider. No matter what kind of trust you choose, make sure it is one that will protect you and your family.

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