I am Burt MacDonald. We are slowly turning into a country of renters as more and more millennials feel that they prefer renting, which requires much less commitment than owning a home. I have completely embraced this lifestyle as well. I never feel like I can live in a city for very long. It doesn't take long to see most of the things you'd want to see in a given city. So I have decided to create a blog where I will cover various aspects of real estate, from both a owner's and renter's perspective, to help anyone I can.
Making a will is an important practice and is highly recommended, but don't stop there. Once you find out how making a revocable trust resolves probate issues, not to mention making it easier on your loved ones, you will want to add this important estate planning tool to your plans. Many people are a bit intimidated by just the thought of a trust, but they are actually as easy as a will to create and far easier to deal with after a death. Read on to learn how using a trust can only enhance your estate planning efforts.
How is a trust created?
You will find that creating a trust is very similar to creating a will. It does share several of the same facets as a will, such as:
1. An administrator: A will appoints a personal representative (or executor) and a trust appoints a trustee. A trustee acts as the person in charge of ensuring that the trust instructions are followed after a death. Before the death, the trust's owner is fully in charge of the trust and can make changes or even do away with it altogether. The trust is "revocable" because it can be changed and adjusted at will before the death.
2. Beneficiaries: Just as a will allows the deceased to leave property to a specified person, so does a trust.
3. Property: A trust can contain and address any property that a will can, including real estate, vehicles, furniture, art work, jewelry, mementos, and bank accounts. It should be noted that property addressed in a trust takes precedence over that addressed in a will. For example, if you leave your Matisse print to your daughter Katherine in your will, but leave that same print to your son Thomas in the trust, Thomas wins the Matisse.
How is a trust better than a will?
Most people have heard the term "avoiding probate", but may not really understand what it means. Probate is inevitable, you cannot really avoid it. If a person dies, probate is extremely likely to occur unless their estate falls into certain fairly rare categories. You can, however, keep some of your property out of probate, which can mean not having to wait months and months for the probate court to process the estate. When a trust's owner passes away, the trustee is empowered to almost immediately begin distributing the assets of the estate to the named beneficiaries in the trust. No need to wait for probate and no need to probate that property.
Speak to an estate planning attorney to learn more about revocable trusts. To learn more, contact a lawyer like Curtis Alexander McCampbell, PC.