How Do Living Trusts Avoid Probate?

The Davidson Law Group Explains How Living Trusts Avoid Probate

As you plan for the future, you want to leave as much of your money as possible to your children and other heirs. If you have a large estate, you also want to avoid probate and probate fees.  

In previous blog posts, we discussed some benefits of a living trust, and we shared some things to know about living trusts. Today, we explain why it’s often best to avoid probate and how a living trust can help.  

What Is a Living Trust?

A living trust is a trust that you create and control while you’re alive. It allows you to use your assets during your lifetime and transfer them to your heirs after you pass. You name yourself as trustee, and the document you make is similar to a will. Most living trusts are revocable, meaning you can change them as your situations or desires change.

What Is Probate?

Probate is the legal process of the court system supervising and distributing someone’s estate (money, property, or other valuable items) when they pass away. The court system determines the value of all these assets, pays the debts, and distributes the remainder of the estate to the chosen heirs.

Why You Want to Avoid Probate

For many reasons, the probate court is not where you’d want your loved ones to have to go after you pass. First, probate can be a slow, time-consuming process, usually taking one to three years to be completed. This is a long time to wait for a valuable asset.

Next, probate can be costly, unless you have a small estate. The court takes a segment of the estate in probate fees, which may be as large as 10%. If you’re an heir, you’d rather keep the money of a deceased relative than have some of it taken by the court to cover extra services.      

Lastly, all of the information used in the probate process becomes part of the public record. The estate assets, debts, and probate distributions are all made public, which is often unwanted publicity for most people. The delays, expenses, and complexities of probate can be a lot to handle, especially when you’re still grieving the loss of a loved one. If you need to explore alternatives to probate, the Davidson Law Group is here to help.

How Living Trusts Avoid Probate

The most direct way to avoid probate is to create a living trust. The trust holds your assets during your lifetime, but you’re in control and can do what you want with the assets. Therefore, the court doesn’t need to transfer anything, and you can avoid probate entirely. After you pass, your assets stay protected in the trust until the chosen dates for distribution to your beneficiaries. A living trust provides excellent security because your assets, beneficiaries, and trust terms remain private.

Related Post: Assets That Won’t Go Through Probate

Create a Living Trust Through the Davidson Law Group  

If you live in Texas and are looking to set up a living trust, contact the Davidson Law Group today. Our attorneys will recommend whether or not you need a trust, and if you do, what type of trust would be most fitting for your situation. Contact our offices in Fort Worth, Allen, or Tyler, and browse our website for more estate planning tools.