What Is a Living Trust?

What is a living trust? This is a question that many people ask because it is easily confused with a living will. Living trusts could help you to avoid probate and minimize estate taxes. As a part of your estate planning, you may need to consider the benefits of using this type of trust. There are several ways that this type of trust can aid many people and it can be arranged by a Florida lawyer who is skilled in these matters.

More On What Is a Living Trust?

A trust is a legal instrument, nothing more than a document that creates a legal entity, which holds some or all of your assets. You can place many types of assets into a trust, including real estate, personal property, investments and bank accounts. The trust protects those assets from going through probate. It lists specifically what items are included, what will happen to them when you die and establishes specific direction for your successor trustee to distribute the assets of the trust.

What Is Probate?

Another important aspect to understand in terms of living trusts is probate. Probate, or probate court, is a court of law that deals specifically with the estate (or assets) of those who have died. Even if you have a will in place, your estate will go through probate court, though the court is likely to honor the wishes and instructions left in the will. There are legal fees and court costs involved in probate. However, you can avoid probate court by establishing a trust.

Is Probate Always Required?

When asking about what is a living trust people also ask if probate is always required.  Most people will have some of their assets go through probate court; however, it is not always necessary for this to occur. In some wills and probate situations in some states, you can establish living trusts that will protect most of all of your estate from probate. If you wish to avoid probate for you or your spouse, it is important to set up a trust. A Florida lawyer experienced in trust matters can help you through this process.

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