Early 2000’s reality television was dominated by “trust fund babies,” spoiled heiresses running around in small skirts with smaller dogs and even smaller brains. So you’d be forgiven if you thought that trusts were for the mega-wealthy, people whose fortunes would fund generations of selfie-taking offspring.
Outside of TV, the truth is that a lot of people could benefit from a trust – if you own property, it’s a pretty good idea to have one. Still renting? If you’ve got over $150k in assets (think your car, heirloom jewelry, or investments), it’s still worth having. Not sure where to start? Companies like Trust & Will are one-stop-shops specializing in simplifying this complicated legal document. Here’s what you need to know.
LIVING TRUST VS. WILL
A living trust is a lot like a will, in that it helps direct what happens to your assets in death. By transferring ownership of your assets to the trust while you’re alive, your assets may avoid probate after you pass. Probate is a legal process governed by the state to ensure that all assets are uncovered, creditors are paid, and executors are responsible. It can take months or years for assets to pass through probate, and the process itself can be costly for the executor.
A living trust can also establish power of attorney, a person who is able to make decisions about your estate in your absence. A will doesn’t cover this. While it may never be an issue (fingers crossed), it’s kind of nice to know that the person making decisions in your absence is the person YOU choose (versus someone appointed by a court).
WHAT DOES IT COVER
A living trust is great because it can easily be updated as you gain, change, or lose assets. It doesn’t require costly legal fees to make tiny adjustments, so you can maintain a document that’s to-the-second accurate.
Beyond the control of your possessions after your passing, Trust & Will’s living trust lets you control what happens to you if you’re suddenly incapacitated. Who receives your medical information, who controls your possessions, it’s all predetermined by you. With a will, you need a separate power of attorney doc to get the same protections.
Wealthy people get living trusts because it simplifies the process of passing your possessions on to your descendants, which gets more complicated when the value and diversity of those possessions increase. Even without a million-dollar portfolio, a living trust can be a good investment, especially with companies like Trust & Will that work on a flat rate (versus lofty hourly lawyer’s fees). Their trust-based estate plan is only $399 for an individual, or $499 for a married couple. But! You can get 15% off with code Beast15. Forms are easy and customized by state, but if you run into any issues, Trust & Will offers live chat support. If you’ve got houses in every state or just a handful of beloved heirlooms, you can benefit from a living trust.
Individual Living Trust
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