Many people who create a revocable living trust do so in anticipation of distributing assets after they die outside of the probate process. While this is a significant benefit to creating such a trust, you might also want to consider their usefulness in incapacity planning. Here are some facts about how living trusts can benefit you in such a situation.
You stay out of court.
If you are ever incapacitated and rendered unable to make your own decisions, someone will have to do that for you. If, for example, you own a house, someone will have to step in to make regular mortgage payments, see that the property is properly cared for, and perform other related duties. If you are the sole owner, a court will have to appoint someone to do this. That process can take a long time and cost a lot of money.
Fortunately, if you transfer your home to a living trust, the trustee or successor trustee can quickly and easily begin managing the trust property for you. This doesn’t require a court hearing or any additional documentation.
You maintain your privacy.
As with probate, creating a revocable living trust will help you avoid staying out of court and divulging any personal information you want kept private. Once a successor trustee steps in to take over managing the living trust, the trustee doesn’t have to reveal anything about the trust, the trust property, or your personal life. If you have to go to court to get a conservator or guardian appointed, that process is much less private.
We will talk about living trusts and other estate planning tools at our next free estate planning seminar. Come visit us on July 23, 24th, and 25th. Will be in Grand Forks, North Dakota and Thief River Falls, Minnesota. There is no cost to attend, but you need to contact our office to register because space is limited.