A Living Trust is an excellent estate planning tool, which allows management of your property both during and after the end of your life, and which avoids probate entirely, along with many of probates' hidden costs, delays, expenses, publicity, and tax implications, just to name just a few differences.
Most everyone understands what a Will is, but many people do not understand that a Will is nothing more than instructions for Probate. In fact, you are guaranteeing that your loved ones (heirs) and your property will go through probate by writing a will. And the painful, expensive, slow and public process that your loved ones have to endure can all be avoided through effective Trust planning.
A Trust immediately transfers all of your assets into the trust, and upon your passing, a successor whom you identify assumes the amount of control you give to your successor in your trust. The amount of control and power you give to yourself and your successors depends on factors such as your tax position, desires for limited liability, degree of management or restrictions necessary over your property, and special needs for individual heirs, all as you decide.
Likewise, while you are living, the Trustee(s) and the Beneficiary(ies) may be united in one person, including yourself, or divided amount two or more persons as either Trustees or Beneficiaries, all depending on the degree of power and control needed for your property and your heirs, and how benefits should be distributed from your property, based on your plans and desires, as well as the factors named above (your tax position, limited liability, the degree of control or management needed for your property, the special needs of individual heirs etc.)
A Trust is also unique in several other respects, including for example, even after one's death, restrictions can be placed on the management, use or distribution of your property, based on conditions you name in your trust, such that violation of these conditions can result in the return of the property into the Trust - only a Trust can provide this unique treatment.
Another unique aspect of the Trust is that it can address periods of incapacity or disability, in ways a Will cannot (since it is only effective upon death), or other commonly used devices such as a power of attorney, which cannot be created once a disability occurs.
You have worked hard to build your life and acquire your property and other assets, and we at the Law Offices of Mark Williams are happy to discuss how we can help you protect your life's work and you and your family's legacy!