Is a Living Trust for You?
Single people can benefit from having a living trust, but they may not be right for everyone. While they eliminate probate or conservatorships and their possible challenges and difficulties, establishing a living trust will require careful planning.
A grantor who establishes a new living trust will need to prepare a new pour-over will to go along with the trust agreement. The person creating the trust will need to change the title on all of the assets to be placed in the living trust and change any existing life insurance policies to name the trust as beneficiary.
Thoughtful planning and naming of successor trustees is also required. Since the trust will pass to the new trustee only when the original grantor has died or becomes incapacitated, this often comes at a sorrowful, traumatic time, especially if the successor trustee is a relative. The successor trustee will have many obligations in administering the trust when it is assigned to them. These duties include determining the fair market value of all the assets and reassigning all their titles to reflect the name of the person to whom the asset is to be distributed, which can be an onerous task.
The list of assets contained in the trust should also be maintained during the life of the grantor. Doing so will make the successor trustee’s job easier when he or she assumes responsibility for the trust and needs to determine their fair market value.
Establishing a living trust will save your beneficiaries months or years of agony in the probate court system and tens of thousands of dollars in statutory probate fees. If taking advantage of these benefits interests you, you should carefully consider contacting an estate planning attorney to discuss the possibility of creating a living trust for your assets.