A living trust is basically a contract that you make with yourself and it is usually the foundational estate planning document. The idea behind it is to make sure that while you are alive and have capacity and mental ability to manage everything, everything can stay the same. However, should you become incapacitated, disabled, or pass and not be able to manage your finances, you will have a plan in place that will allow someone to do that for you. Our firm has years of experience fighting for the compensation victims deserve. With us you can rely on our diligence and experience to see your case through.This will also ensure that everything gets transferred to your loved ones or rightful heirs after you die. A living trust comes with three positions:
- Grantor. We can think of the grantor as the trust maker. The grantor creates the trust and decides what the trust says regarding what will happen when everything is fine, as well as what will happen during a period of disability and upon death. The grantor also takes all of their assets and retitles them to the trust.
- Trustee. Think of the trustee as the trust manager. The trustee manages all of the assets of the trust. This means that they have the ability to decide what is going to happen to the assets. They call buy assets, sell assets, gift assets, loan assets, and borrow assets in your name. All of the powers that you have over your assets transfers over to your trustee.
- Beneficiary. The beneficiary, or beneficiaries, of the trust is a person or persons who essentially get to reap the benefits of the trust. They get to enjoy the assets. So the trustee manages the assets that the grantor put into the trust for the benefit of the beneficiary.
What is the Difference Between a Will and a Living Trust?
A will and a trust are very similar in conveyance of property after you pass. The difference between a will and a trust after death is that a will is a letter to the court telling it what you want done with your stuff after you die. This will lead to the expensive and time consuming probate process. With a trust, your assets are handled outside of the court. The courts are not involved with a living trust, whereas with a will the court will always be involved. After you die, a trustee can find all of your assets and give them to your beneficiaries. If you have a will, it has to be published to the public first before the probate process. The privacy contained within a living trust is enough to sway most individuals towards creating one instead of a will. With a trust, all of your transactions are a private matter between your trustee and beneficiaries.
Contact an Estate Planning Attorney
A lawyer, like the revocable living trust attorneys in Philadelphia residents can turn to, can help you with all sorts of questions and concerns that you may have.
Thank you to Klenk Law for providing their insight and authoring this piece on living trusts.