Do you have an estate plan? Are you wondering how to keep your estate out of the probate court?
One solution is a living trust. Here, we’ll go over reasons to avoid the probate process, and how a living trust fits in.
Why You Might Want to Avoid the Probate Process
Avoiding the probate process may be an objective of estate planning for several reasons, including convenience for the heirs or fiduciary, avoiding conflict, and avoiding the expenses of an estate administration in probate court.
Have You Considered a Living Trust?
When you pass away, assets held by a living trust can be excluded from your probate estate, so they may be transferred without the inconvenience and complexities of going through the probate process, resulting in a quicker and more efficient distribution of your assets to your beneficiaries.
As part of the trust creation process, you decide how you want the trust’s assets divided. If there are beneficiaries who are minors, you can create a trust in their name to hold the assets until they reach adulthood or a suitable age for managing their inheritance.
A living trust is revocable, which means you can amend it unless it is expressly designated as an irrevocable trust. Most of the time, individuals name themselves as the initial trustee of their living trusts.
You keep control of the trust’s funds by nominating yourself as trustee. If you decide the trust is no longer the best option for your estate planning requirements, you can move assets in and out of the trust, refinance assets, and even dissolve or revoke the trust.
Using a Living Trust to Avoid Probate
An Alabama living trust offers a more effective and practical way to transfer property to heirs by bypassing probate. In a normal revocable living trust design, the successor trustee can immediately take over as trustee once the trust creator passes away, have access to trust assets, and sell trust assets to settle liabilities like bills or mortgages, etc.
On the other hand, the executor designated in a last will and testament receives their power through an appointment by the probate court.
Because of the need to go through probate court, the executor cannot access the estate’s assets until the last will and testament is admitted to probate, and the court chooses the executor. This procedure may be slowed down by negligent or unwilling heirs or delays in acquiring the deceased person’s death certificate or locating the will.
The probate avoidance feature of a trust may be an enticing benefit to achieve that estate planning goal if giving the fiduciary or heirs quick access to control of the inherited property is a priority.
If you are interested in creating a living trust, speak to an estate planning attorney in Alabama for more information on the process and costs involved.
Speak to an Alabama Estate Planning Attorney
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Let’s discuss how we can help your estate avoid probate. Contact The Law Offices of Brenton C. McWilliams to request a consult.