You have choices when planning your estate. You are not required to utilize a last will to direct the distribution of your assets after your death. Instruments such as revocable living trusts are viable options and they are not exclusively for the wealthy.
Your estate must be probated when you use a last will as your primary asset transfer vehicle. Probate comes with considerable costs. Depending on the overall value of your estate and its relative complexity, the costs associated with probate can erode 10% of the value of your estate in court and attorney fees.
In addition to the expenses, probate can be a lengthy and time-consuming process. If your estate must go through probate, your heirs do not receive anything until the probate process has been completed, and depending on the jurisdiction this can take months or even years!
If you were to utilize a revocable living trust, upon your death your assets could be transferred to your loved ones quickly and outside of the costly and time-consuming probate process. Additionally, a living trust allows you to include instructions regarding your wishes as to how you want your estate managed in the event you become incapacitated.
You are not locked into any one particular course of action when you are making plans for the future. To explore your options, we invite you to attend one of our upcoming free living trust seminars scheduled for March 1, 3 and 7. At these seminars, you will receive vital information about living trusts, and you will also receive a complimentary free consultation to discuss your estate planning with an experienced estate planning attorney. To view our upcoming seminars, follow this link: Free Estate Planning Seminars.