Do you know how to avoid probate when a loved one dies? Here’s how a living trust can help.
Do you have a living trust? Probate can be a nightmare, especially after the loss of a loved one, but a living trust can help you avoid it. Here’s what you need to know about how to avoid probate.
What is a Living Trust?
In the simplest terms, a living trust, created by an individual during their lifetime, is a document designating a trustee for their estate. The trustee manages the assets for the individual and is responsible for transferring those assets to the beneficiary or beneficiaries upon their death and according to their wishes.
What is Probate?
Probate is the legal process overseen by the court system that works to administer the estate of a deceased individual. They work to pay off the individual’s debts before transferring assets and property to their beneficiaries. If there is a will, the courts authenticate it before proceeding and allowing the executor to distribute assets. They follow the state process for managing probate if there isn’t a will.
Will a Living Will Trust Help Avoid Probate?
The courts freeze a deceased individual’s assets during the probate process, meaning your heirs cannot access any property or funds until probate is complete. Fortunately, the assets included in your living trust are not subject to the probate process. The trust and not the estate owns the assets, and therefore, they are exempt from probate, and the trustee can distribute them immediately upon the person’s death or as per their instructions and wishes.
Avoiding probate is one way to protect your family, and a living trust is one of the best ways to do so. It will protect you and your assets while you’re living and when you’re gone. To find out more and to get started on the creation of your trust, contact McCutchen McLean, LLC, today.