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Added control over asset distribution with a living trust

Few people like to be told what they can and cannot do with their own personal assets. One may spend a lifetime protecting his or her money or personal property from outside influences, only to then find out that without the proper planning, control of those assets is handed over to the court after he or she passes on. Proper estate planning can help to avoid such a loss from ever happening, yet many in Boca Raton shy away from it. Some may believe it to be too complicated; others may think their own accumulated wealth doesn’t warrant such elaborate planning. Yet forming such plans needn’t cause such worry, and with the right sort of strategy in place, one can still maintain control over his or her assets even after he or she is gone.

Should one only choose to draft a will as part of his or her estate planning, that document must go through a legal process to determine its validity upon the his or her death. It then becomes a matter of public record, and a potentially lengthy review can ensue. This process can not only delay the distribution of assets to beneficiaries, but can also eat up a good portion of those assets in legal costs.

Should one instead choose to supplement his or her will with a living trust, he or she can avoid the probate process altogether. Gone are the lost assets due to legal fees, and, if documented properly, a trust can also provide asset protection from federal and state estate taxes. Plus, a trust comes with the added bonus of allowing one to determine the distribution of assets, allowing them to be released all at once or over time. Since it’s a private document, the only eyes that see it are those designated by the benefactor.

Creating a trust can be a complicated process for a layman. Thus, one may wish to have an estate planning attorney’s assistance in doing so.

Source: “5 reasons you need a living trust” Don Robinson, Jan. 21, 2014

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