Did you know that a Revocable Living Trust may be able to keep your loved one’s out of probate? After you pass away probate is necessary to move your property into your heirs’ names. With a Living Trust, you will title property in the name of your Trust which will nullify a need for probate.
First, you will create your Trust agreement and name yourself as the Trustee. As Trustee you will have control of all Trust assets while you are living and healthy. Next you will name the beneficiaries who will receive your property. You will also choose a successor trustee to settle your final affairs.
Properly funding your Trust is vital if you are attempting to circumvent probate. Funding a piece of property into your Trust consists of moving it from your name into the name of your Trust.
There are some items that should not be moved into of your Trust. For some retirement accounts a name change will be seen as an early withdraw and penalty fees may be assessed. Instead, you can make your retirement accounts and many other financial accounts payable on death. When a beneficiary is designated on an account it can pass outside of probate without having to be included in a Trust.
Successor Trustee Duties
After you pass away, your successor trustee will have the responsibility of settling your estate according the instructions in your Trust agreement. Because Trust property does not need to pass through Probate, your successor trustee can efficiently hand out assets to heirs without the need to wait on a lengthy court process.
Even if you have a Revocable Living Trust, you may not be able fully avoid probate. This may be true if you have left property out of your Trust or if you have not updated your beneficiaries as needed.
In case probate may be necessary, you can take some measures to speed it up. It is a good idea to have a Pour Over Will. This type of Will is often used with a Living Trust because it allows your trustee or executor to fund items into the name of your trust during a shorter version of probate.