You have probably heard time and time again how important it is to create a will to protect your assets and your family. But did you know that there is another document that can be equally effective (depending upon your unique situation)? It’s called a living trust and you may find that this type of document fits your needs better than a will.
A will is a legal document that outlines how you want your assets distributed after you pass away. In contrast, a living trust is a different legal document that allows you (settlor) to outline how you want your assets distributed. Along with this information, you also specify a person (trustee) to be in control of managing your assets if you become unable to make decisions for yourself. Then, upon your death, the trustee has the authority and duty to make sure your assets are distributed properly.
Living trusts can be especially advantageous for people with large estates, but anyone can create a living trust.
Pros of Living Trusts
- While you are of sound mind, you are able to maintain full control of your assets including investments, property and business interests
- They are revocable. You can modify or revoke your living trust as long as you have the capacity to do so.
- You can outline exactly how you want your assets distributed upon your death
- The probate process can be avoided upon your death as long as your living trust is fully funded with all of your assets
- It is a private document that typically only the listed beneficiaries and trustee are able to see
Cons of Living Trusts
- Living trusts are more complex and are more costly to create and administer
- Because there is no probate, you must choose a trustee whom you have trust to carry out their fiduciary duties in the distribution and management of your living trust
To learn more about creating a living trust in Denver, contact the Denver estate planning lawyers at The Brown Law Firm LLC: (303) 339-3750. You can also send us a message online set up an appointment.