The primary benefit of creating a revocable living trust is the ability to choose how you want to distribute your property after you die and avoid the necessity of that property first having to go through probate. In this regard, revocable living trusts are superior to last wills and testaments because wills do not allow you to avoid probate.
When people understand how living trusts work and realize that they can pass property without having to create a will, they sometimes believe that this means they do not need to create a will. This is incorrect. While living trusts are excellent estate planning tools, you still need to create a last will and testament.
The creation of a revocable living trust is not the only step you need to go through to ensure that you can pass property outside of probate. You will also have to transfer all your property to the living trust before it can be distributed. This process is known as funding. It is possible to make a mistake during the funding process, or that you might forget to include some of your property when you transfer it to the trust. If this happens and you don’t have the will that works hand-in-hand with the living trust, your property will have to pass in accordance with your state laws of intestacy.
Additionally, a will allows you to appoint an executor who will manage your estate, as well as gives you the ability to take other specific steps that a living trust does not allow for.
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