The Benefits of Trusts Over Wills: An Expert's Perspective

Trust administration is often a more efficient and cost-effective way to manage your assets than a will. It does not involve a waiting period, meaning that your beneficiaries have much quicker access to the funds you have left them. Trusts also give you more control over the distribution of your assets than a will. They are frequently used in estate planning and can facilitate the transfer of assets to heirs without the cost or publicity of probate. Trust transfers are usually faster and more efficient than will transfers.

They allow grantors to maintain privacy with respect to the nature and value of their assets. Trusts can also be used to maintain the confidentiality of different values of assets transferred to different heirs, as well as to protect family businesses and real estate held through entities not publicly identified with their owners. A living trust can save money by avoiding estate expenses at the time of your death. In addition, only beneficiaries named in the trust are entitled to receive notice and view its contents, whereas a will must be provided to both the named beneficiaries and their legal heirs.

This means that if you disinherit an heir to a trust, they are less likely to know how to challenge the document. A successor trustee may be appointed in the trust formation documents to intervene and take over the administration of the trust after the grantor's death. This ensures that your assets are managed according to your wishes even after you are gone. When you set up a trust during your lifetime, you just need to deal with your lawyer and your trustee to execute the agreement. Creating a trust doesn't have to be time-consuming or complicated, especially since you can now find living trust forms online to streamline the process. It should be noted that you can also stipulate in your will that you want to create a trust after your death; in this case, your estate will go through probate before the trust is established. The biggest advantage of a living trust is that, unlike a last will and testament, it allows you to avoid probate court.

An irrevocable trust is not an option for most people because it involves handing over your property to the trust and your trustee forever. While an executor must liquidate an estate, a trustee is responsible for managing a trust as long as it exists. Living trusts can provide savings to married couples in the form of co-living trusts, but there is usually not much difference in income and estate tax savings with a living trust. Some people create additional wills to their revocable trusts to deal with any property that is left out of the trust without realizing it. However, if assets are transferred to a trust with the intention of avoiding creditors, or in circumstances that indicate that it would be reasonable to assume that creditors would seek the assets, the trust is unlikely to isolate assets from creditor claims.

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