How a living trust could help estate owners

Most adults in Georgia can benefit from having an estate plan. Part of the estate planning process may involve creating a living trust. This type of trust is revocable, which means that it can be amended at any time up until its creator passes on.

Unlike a will, trust assets are held outside of an estate, and they generally don't need to be included in any future probate proceedings. However, those assets are not immune from creditor claims while they are in the trust. Individuals are also required to pay taxes on the income an asset generates. Since there is generally no need to go through probate, the terms of the trust remain private. It also makes it faster and easier to transfer assets when they are part of a living trust as opposed to a will. Avoiding probate can make the process of settling an estate owner's affairs less expensive as well.

If an estate owner becomes incapacitated, the trust will be overseen by a spouse or another designated person or entity. This means that an individual's finances will be overseen according to their wishes in the aftermath of an injury or illness. It is important to make sure that assets are titled in the trust's name for it to be effective.

Going through the estate planning process may be easier with the help of an attorney. Legal counsel may explain the different documents and planning tools available for the client to use. Someone who wants to retain control of their assets while alive and after death may want to consider a trust. Trusts may be used to determine who gets an asset, how it is distributed and how it can be used by the beneficiary.

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