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Along with wills, family trusts are used to pass along assets to family members after a person dies. Unlike wills, family trusts aren’t subject to probate. They can also include terms dictating how and when assets are distributed, thereby giving the creator more control.
There are many different steps to creating a family trust. Walk-In Wills can guide you through the process step by step, while also advising you on other estate planning options. Each estate plan is unique, which is why we take your personal situation into account when creating yours.
The details of a will and all decisions made therein are accessible by the public. This includes the names of heirs, as well as how much each person received from the estate. Trusts are a private entity, so it’s impossible for outside parties to access this information. For a family that prizes their privacy, a trust is an essential tool for estate planning.
Trusts differ from wills in that all assets become property of the trust upon its creation. With wills, the property is owned by the creator until that person dies, at which time assets become the property of the beneficiaries after probate has taken place. Probate allows the court to prove the will is legitimate, while also ensuring any debts in the deceased’s name are settled. Only after both of those processes are completed do the heirs receive anything, minus the costs for debts and legal fees. Trusts are not subject to probate since all assets are owned by the trust and not the creator.
Trustees are in charge of managing the trust, either while a person is alive or after they die. While you serve as the trustee while you’re alive and in good health, your successor trustee will take over should you die or become incapacitated by illness or injury. Without a trust in place, the court would be petitioned to choose a conservator to act on your behalf. This can be a lengthy process, during which time your finances would unmanaged.
Trusts must be properly created to protect your assets. Walk-In Wills can explain how trusts are funded and how you can structure them for the greatest benefit. To schedule your free hour-along consultation, feel free to call (505) 903-7000.