The most common type of trust is a living trust. All of a person’s property which would be subject to probate, such as real estate, should be transferred to the trust for it to be effective. A living trust should be used in conjunction with a pour over will.
Avoiding Guardianship for Adults
Avoiding Probate / Keeping Information Private
A revocable trust can also be used to avoid probate and ensure that the assets transferred into the trust are kept private. If there is no will or only a simple will, probate will be required for any estate that owns real estate and/or is worth over $100,000. All assets that pass through probate can be accessed by the general public.
If an individual is leaving assets to a minor child, a trust is extremely important. If an individual dies with only a simple will or no will at all and assets go to minor as a beneficiary, a guardian for the minor’s estate will be appointed by the court. The person appointed to be the child’s guardian may be a family member, a friend, or a complete stranger. The guardian will be responsible for the management of the assets until the minor becomes an adult. However, upon becoming an adult the individual would receive an outright distribution of all assets. A living trust can be used to appoint a trustee to manage the funds, avoid guardianship for a minor’s estate and control the distribution of assets.