When you are engaged in the estate planning process, you should consider the tasks that must be completed after you pass away to bring your wishes to fruition. If you have a basic understanding of the estate administration process, you can make informed decisions.
As we have pointed out in a recent post, a simple will is not always the best asset transfer vehicle to utilize. A trust of some kind can be a superior choice, and a living trust is the device that is ideal for the widest range of people.
Efficient Trust Administration.
Many people do not consider the possibility of trust creation because they do not want to lose control of the assets. In reality, you actually maintain complete control over and access to assets that you convey into a living trust.
You would be the trustee, and in essence, nothing would change with regard to your ability to use the resources. Since this is a revocable trust, you could change your mind and dissolve the trust entirely, so your level of control is absolute.
To account for the administration of the trust after you are gone, you name a successor trustee. This can be a trust company or another professional fiduciary, and you could alternately choose a family member or trusted friend.
One of the major benefits that a living trust will provide is a smooth and efficient estate administration process. The assets that comprise the estate will be situated under the umbrella of the trust, and this simplifies the inventory and preparation process.
Another aspect that is quite favorable is the avoidance of probate. This is a legal process that takes place under the supervision of a court, and it is necessary when a will is used as an asset transfer vehicle.
Probate is not necessarily positive for the rightful heirs to an estate. It is a public proceeding, so the records are available to the general public. The loss of privacy is disconcerting in a general sense, and the information can cause hard feelings among interested parties.
It will take close to a year in many instances, and it could take longer if the situation is complicated. No inheritances typically are distributed while probate is underway, and while the clock is running, expenses are accumulating.
We touched upon the fact that you can name someone that you know to act as the trustee. In many cases, this will be the right choice. In fact, a beneficiary could be the trustee, and this can be the obvious way to proceed under some circumstances.
When you have a layperson as the trustee, they will not have no understanding of the intricacies of the trust administration process. There is a lot at stake, and there is no reason to take any risks.
If you work with our firm to create your living trust, we can provide turnkey assistance. We can be contacted after your passing, and we will be ideally suited to guide the successor trustee during the trust administration process.
Learn More About Estate Planning!
You found your way to this site because you are searching for information about estate planning and elder care, and you are in the right place. We update this blog regularly, and there are other written materials that you can access free of charge.
One of them is our estate planning worksheet. It has been carefully prepared to provide a more thorough understanding of this important process, so you should definitely take event of this opportunity.
To get your copy, visit our worksheet access page and follow the simple instructions.
Need Help Now?
Our doors are open if you are ready to work with a Rochester, NY estate planning lawyer to put a plan in place. As you can see, there are different approaches that can be taken, and there are details that must be addressed.
We can help you make informed decisions, and as we have stated, we will be around to provide assistance during the administration process.
You can set the wheels in motion right now if you give us a call at (585) 546-1734, and you can use our contact form to send us a message.