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How a revocable living trust helps avoid probate

When someone passes away, the last thing the family members and loved ones want to do is start on a long, drawn out process to settle the estate.  If you would like to avoid this situation, especially if you have large estate, you should consider the benefits of a revocable living trust as a means to minimize the process.  Remember, probate takes time, sometimes lasting several months before it is settled, and a year is not out of the question. Do you want to have your heirs wait that long before your assets are distributed?

Overview of the process

Probate administers the estates of deceased individuals. It takes care of all claims under a valid will. Probate decides on the instructions of the deceased and decides upon an executor of the estate. It also decides upon the interests of the heirs and others claiming interest in the estate.  Probate takes time and can become quite costly and time intensive, but one solution for avoiding probate is to create a revocable living trust.

What does the trust do?

The trust takes your property and transfers it to another party (the trust) for the benefit of a third party (your heirs). The trustee hold legal titles and your heirs hold equitable titles in the property, and has a fiduciary responsibility to the heirs.

The rules governing trusts are set down when the trust is created.

Trusts can and will do the following:

  • Pass assets to heirs without probate
  • Save time and money
  • Plan for possible incapacity or disability
  • Allows the grantor to act as trustee
  • Be amended, altered or revoked

Trusts will not save on estate taxes and state inheritance taxes. The cost of the trust should also be weighed against the cost of probate, but often times you will find one clearly outweighs the other, especially when you factor in the time and hassle factors.

The use of revocable living trusts has become more and more popular. It is an option you should consider in planning your estate.

And don’t forget to contact Northern Virginia Trusts and Estates –Attorneys at Law for help.