Living Trusts

    1.  With a living trust you have the most control over what happens to your estate. You can provide for your spouse and your minor children. You can protect children with special needs or those who aren't financially responsible. And you can avoid the expense and delays of probate.  


  2.   Assets held by the trust will not need to be probated.


  3.  Legal fees for probating an estate are usually much higher than the fees for administering a trust. Probates can also take a year or longer to complete, but a trust administration usually can be completed in a much shorter time.  However, the initial cost of a trust is greater than for a will.

  4. If a trustor becomes mentally incompetent, the successor trustee can take control of the trust and avoid the cost of a conservatorship in most cases. Conservatorships are often used in situations in which someone can no longer manage his or her own financial affairs or personal care. A conservatorship is a court-supervised proceeding that can involve substantial legal fees.

  5. The trust is revocable during the lifetimes of the trustors.


  6. With a living trust you will have peace of mind knowing that your wishes will be carried out.


Click for Frequently Asked Questions About Living Trusts.




     A will is a legally-binding statement detailing who will receive your property at your death. It also appoints a legal representative to carry out your wishes. However, the will covers only probate property. Many types of property or forms of ownership pass outside of probate. Jointly-owned property, property in trust, life insurance proceeds and property with a named beneficiary, such as IRAs or 401(k) plans, all pass outside of probate.



Advance Healthcare Directive


     An Advance Healthcare Directive designates someone you choose to make health care decisions for you if you are unable to do so yourself. It may instruct your health care provider to withdraw life support if you are terminally ill or in a vegetative state or it may provide instructions if you are in a less severe state of health, but are still unable to direct your health care yourself.


Durable Power of Attorney    


     A durable power of attorney allows a person you appoint -- your "attorney-in-fact" -- to act in your place for financial purposes when and if you ever become incapacitated.  The person you choose will be able to step in and take care of your financial affairs. Without a durable power of attorney, no one can represent you unless a court appoints a conservator or guardian. That court process takes time, costs money, and the judge may not choose the person you would prefer.





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