Many people have heard of the “trust fund” assuming that it is something that only people who are extremely wealthy would have any reason to consider. This is not entirely true at all, because the creation of revocable living trusts can actually benefit many people who would not by any means consider themselves to be extraordinarily wealthy.
The primary reason why the creation of a revocable living trust may be preferable to a last will as your primary vehicle of asset transfer is because the trust enables probate avoidance. Probate is the legal process that your estate must pass through before your heirs can receive their inheritances when you use a last will. Two of the reasons why many people do what it takes to avoid probate is because this process can be costly and time consuming.
Depending on the size and scope of your assets and the exact nature of your wishes the process of probate can result in costs that can consume as much as 5% of the value of the estate and even more in some cases. And the time lag involved can be anywhere from several months to several years in some complicated instances.
In addition to the above, probate is a public proceeding and a matter of public record and there are those who would prefer that their affairs remain confidential. Probate also provides an open door to will changes and there are those who want to keep this door tightly shut.
You can avoid all of the pitfalls of probate through the creation of a revocable living trust. With these trusts you act as the trustee and beneficiary while you are living so you maintain full control and you can change the terms or even terminate the trust if you decide to do so. But when you pass away, the assets are transferred according to your wishes by the trustee of your choosing in a smooth and efficient manner outside the process of probate.
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