When you visit an estate planning attorney to become apprised of your options with regard to vehicles of asset transfer you may well find that a trust is the most appealing option. Depending on the nature of your assets there are a number of different trusts that can be utilized to achieve specific objectives, and many people with significant, diverse holdings may want to use a combination of them. But even people with relatively simple financial profiles often choose to use a trust such as a revocable living trust because of the fact that the transfer of assets to their loved ones will take place outside of the probate process.
Individuals typically avoid the probate process for three primary reasons. One of them is the fact that probate is a public proceeding, and it allows for interested parties to step forward and challenge the will if they choose to do so. Many would prefer to keep their final affairs private and keep the door closed to those who are unwilling to honor their wishes.
Probate can also be a rather long and drawn out affair, taking anywhere from several months to several years to run its course in complicated cases. Of course the heirs to the estate do not receive their inheritances until the estate has been probated and closed. In addition to this, there are significant costs associated with probate that can erode the overall value of your estate considerably, and every cent that is spent is money that could potentially have been in the pockets of your loved ones.
If you do choose to use a trust as your vehicle of transfer it would probably behoove you to include a pour-over will as well. Most people are going to have some property remaining after they pass away that was not placed into the trust either because they obtained it after the trust was created or because they had practical reasons to retain personal ownership. The pour-over will accounts for property of this nature by directing it into the trust upon your death.
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