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What are Some Little Known Advantages of a Living Trust?

by Jeffrey Asher, Estate Planning Expert
June 02, 2017

Question: What are some little known advantages of a living trust?

Answer: One of the greatest benefits of a Living Trust is the ability to avoid probate.  Probate costs can be effectively reduced or even eliminated by your Living Trust.  Without a Living Trust, probate or some type of court administration is guaranteed.  If all of your assets are in your Living Trust, your entire estate will avoid probate.  What’s more, by owning all of your assets in your Living Trust, you will make the administration of your estate easier for your loved ones and shorten the time they must wait to receive their inheritances.  Probate can typically take 6 months to 2 years to complete.  Because you are avoiding probate, and the necessary court interference and costs that come with it, your loved ones won’t have to wait and they won’t have to pay potentially huge probate costs.
Another advantage to your Living Trust is that it can make it more difficult for anyone to challenge the administration of and distributions from your estate.  Probating a Will guarantees an objectant the opportunity to be heard by the Court.  If there is no Court, there is no forum in which a disgruntled beneficiary can complain about your estate.
Also, unlike a Will, which is effective only after you pass away, your Living Trust allows you to include instructions for someone else to manage your personal assets and needs if you ever suffer from a mental disability.
Your Living Trust is also an extremely flexible way to protect your loved ones from creditors, bankruptcy, divorce, etc.  Your Living Trust can also protect the assets being left to your minor children and/or grandchildren.  Also, a Living Trust can be especially useful for parents who want to provide fairly for children from previous marriages.
In some cases, small-business owners would benefit from a Living Trust.  You may wish to transfer ownership of your businesses to your Living Trust.  At death, your Living Trust can benefit your loved ones, while making sure that your businesses continue to grow in the hands of a qualified trustee who can keep your businesses going.

Jeffrey Asher is a prominent Trusts & Estates and Elder Law attorney in Westchester County and New York City. Mr. Asher concentrates primarily in the areas of Estate Planning, Probate and Estate Administration, Elder Law, Medicaid Planning, and Special Needs Planning. Mr. Asher provides comprehensive legal services, tailored to meet your specific needs.

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