A will isn’t for everyone. Tucson residents might be better served by a different estate planning device. One popular alternative is the living trust. The living trust provides a kind of flexibility afforded by few other estate tools, but there are, of course, drawbacks as well. If you’re considering a living trust, here’s what to consider.
The living trust, compared to a will, is more costly to set up and requires frequent maintenance. However, it is not subject to probate court which means it’s not subject to probate fees. In many states, these fees can be up to 10 percent of the estate. Therefore, for wealthy individuals, the living trust is usually less costly than a will because maintenance costs are likely to be far less than 10 percent of their estate’s value.
Wills are subject to the probate process which can take months or even years to resolve. Living trusts are not subject to the probate process; therefore, heirs can receive the money in the trust immediately after the trustor’s death.
It should be noted that one of the living trust’s unique benefits is that its assets can be transferred to the heirs while the trustor is still alive. Of course, the heirs cannot receive the assets governed by a will until the testator dies.
Although many people are familiar with the estate planning process, the assistance of an experienced trusts and estates lawyer should be always sought. The law governing legal devices, whether a will or living trust, is notoriously slippery. A seemingly innocent mistake can cause enormous problems down the road.