A Revocable Living Trust Will Protect Your Beneficiaries
Many of us feel that we have done everything that we can do to prepare for the day that we will no longer be around to care for our loved ones. We may have taken out insurance policies and prepared a will, just so our dependents will be financially secure after we are gone. However, many of us also dread going to see lawyers, and feel that their fees can be unnecessary and exorbitant. What most of us don’t know, is that by making a will and taking out some insurance policies, we have done just slightly better than nothing to protect our assets after we are gone. Any estate that is only governed by a will must go through probate, and probate fees must be paid in order for that to happen. In addition, the probate process can take one to two years to be completed, so your beneficiaries may have to wait up to two years to receive your bequests, after your estate has been considerably diminished by probate fees. Instead of forcing your beneficiaries to wait in limbo for the duration of the probate process, and then disappointing them with a far smaller share of your estate than they had expects due to the costs associated with probate, you may want to consider the advice of a real estate planning lawyer who can help you to consider estate preservation options like a joint tenancy, a Revocable Living Trust, or an irrevocable trust. This extra advice can save your estate tens of thousands of dollars that will go directly to your beneficiaries, instead of waiting and diminishing in probate.
There are many options to consider when you begin to investigate the intricacies of estate planning. The one thing that you should never wonder about is, “Should I retain an estate planning lawyer?” In order to best protect your estate and your beneficiaries, you should definitely consult a probate lawyer in order to find the estate planning solution that best suits the needs of you and your dependants. One of the best solutions to manage a larger estate is a Revocable Living Trust. A revocable living trust ensures that your assets go directly to your beneficiaries on the event of your death. Your estate will not go through probate, which will keep your estate from potentially losing tens of thousands of dollars to probate fees. Probate fees are based on the gross value of your estate, and do not take debt into account at all. For example, if you owned a house that had an assessed value of $600,000 dollars, your probate fees would be based on $600,000, which would mean that your estate would have to pay around $38,000 in fees. Unfortunately though, at the time of your death, you only had $100,000 in equity and a $500,000 debt. Your estate would end up paying about a third of the value of the equity that you had in your house in probate fees! A living trust would prevent your estate from going through probate, and those fees would never have to be paid.
A Revocable Living Trust can also ensure that your dependents will be raised by people that you chose. It can be revoked or changed at any time, so if you need to add or subtract beneficiaries, you will be able to do so with a living trust. This decreases the likelihood of your loved ones being accidentally disinherited from your estate. Also, it allows you to keep control of the trust during your lifetime. Finally, a living trust is relatively inexpensive to set up, and is easy to maintain, thus relieving stress from your family. Putting your estate in a trust is a very beneficial option with very few drawbacks.