What is a trust?
A trust is a legal document that gives instructions for what you want done with your estate when you die. You will name a trustee that administers the trust for your beneficiaries. While you are still living, you retain control of the trust. If you become incapacitated, rather than having the courts decide how your affairs will be managed, your named successor trustee will take over managing your trust. Upon your death, probate should not be necessary.
If I have a will, do I also need a trust?
Yes. Having a trust will see to it that if you become incapacitated, your affairs are still managed on your terms. If you have no trust, a court appointed conservator will take control of your estate and make the decisions for you. In the event of your death, your estate should not have to go through the process of probate.
What is probate and why should I avoid it?
Probate is a process that takes place when you die where the court supervises the administration of your estate, and sees to it that your debts are paid and your assets distributed according to your will. Probate generally takes a long time, can be costly and your affairs can become public rather than remaining private. Your family’s control of your estate may be subject to court supervision and control.
Do I lose control over my assets if I have a trust?
No. You are the named trustee and beneficiary of your living trust. Your assets belong to the trust and since you administer the trust, you retain control. If you do not have a trust and become incapacitated or die, the court may take control of your assets rather than your family.
Can I change the terms of my trust?
This depends on what type of trust you have. An Irrevocable Trust does not allow changes to be made to the trust, while a Revocable Trust can be changed or revoked at any time. At Secure Estate Services, LLC, we can detail all of the different types of trusts for you so that you can make an informed decision about what is best for your family.