1. What is a Living Trust?
When referring to a “living trust,” most people mean a revocable living trust, which will likely meet the needs of most families. This type of trust may be amended or revoked at any time by the trustor, as long as the trustor is still alive and competent.
After the trust is created, all assets (your home, bank accounts and stocks, for example) are transferred into the trust. The trust is administered for your benefit during your lifetime, and upon your death, such assets will be transferred to your beneficiaries per the trust documents.
2. Do I Need a Living Trust?
Having a living trust is important in the event of an accident or sudden illness as it will help to ensure that your assets will be managed according to your wishes and your designated beneficiaries can receive your assets.
Generally, a couple with a house and/or with children may benefit with a living trust as their assets and their heirs can avoid a timely and costly probate process.
The assets held in your living trust could be managed by the trustee and distributed according to your directions without court supervision and involvement. Because the trust would not be under the direct management of the probate court, your assets and their value (as well as your beneficiaries’ identities) would not become a public record.