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What you should know about living trusts

If you have an estate plan in place, congratulations. According to an AARP survey, some 60 percent of people do not have a will or any other type of estate planning. When you have an estate plan, you are not only providing for your family after your death, but you're doing so when they are grieving. This will help make a difficult time a little easier.

One way to ensure that you can arrange to have your assets treated as you see fit is through a living trust. There are several advantages to a living trust, including the following:

One of the advantages to a living trust is that it keeps your estate out of probate when you pass away. This means that the assets you set aside for your beneficiaries can be accessed sooner and without all the hassle that probate involves.

Another advantage is that a living trust is revocable. This means you can change the terms of this estate planning document however you see fit. You can name yourself as trustee if you wish, but you will also need to name someone to take over as trustee if you become unable to manage the trust.

A living trust can also save your beneficiaries a bit of money when you pass. There will also be more privacy with a living trust than you would have with a will. People can access a lot of information about your family, beneficiaries and assets in a will because a will is a public record. A living trust is not.

If you believe that a living trust is the type of legal document you need to make sure your family is taken care of, then your family law attorney can help you create one that will spare your loved ones probate proceedings, protect your assets and ensure that your wishes are followed upon your death.

Source: The Motley Fool, "A living trust can help you protect your heirs and assets. Here's what you need to know.," Maurie Backman, June 27, 2017

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