Advantages of Living Trusts
Regardless of the size of your estate, one of the primary advantages to using a Living Trust is avoiding Probate. In southern Nevada, Probate will normally cost between 5% and 8% of the gross value of your estate, taking into consideration attorney’s fees, costs, personal representative fees, and creditor claims. Additionally, Probate on average will take between four and nine months to complete, thus, freezing the assets over this period which your family may need at this most desperate time. With respect to persons who own real property in different states, they will have to endure multiple probates of that real property if they fail to implement a Living Trust. This occurs because real property can only be probated in the jurisdiction in which the land is located. By using a Living Trust, no Probate in any jurisdiction would be necessary since the property would be owned by a trustee at the time of your death, not you individually.
Post Mortem Asset Management
Successor trustees in a Living Trust generally have more powers and latitude in managing your estate than do personal representatives. In most cases, a personal representative will have to seek court approval to carry out some act he or she believes is in the best interests of the Probate estate. Requests for these powers take time and money. In a Living Trust, those powers are set forth in the trust agreement and allow the successor trustee to immediately take whatever action he or she deems necessary to preserve your trust assets or manage your trust estate.
Living Trusts and Guardianships
Living Trusts are excellent tools to eliminate the need to establish a guardianship or conservatorship over your estate. Living Trusts can provide standards for determining competency and appoint a person or corporate fiduciary to manage your estate while you are incompetent. Court supervision and continued hearings regarding the accountings of your estate are eliminated since the assets are in your trust and not part of a guardianship or conservatorship estate.
Disadvantages of a Living Trust
You may incur more costs in implementing a Living Trust than you would if you decided to just use a Will. The main costs are in transferring your assets into the Living Trust. You can accomplish most of these transfers fairly easily with the assistance of your broker, real estate agent, banker, or investment advisor. The cost in preparing your trust and the drafting of the supporting documents is more costly than preparing a simple Will. However, with careful estate planning and a thorough analysis of your estate planning goals, thousands of dollars can be saved by using the Living Trust, thus, making a sound investment in your future and your family’s.
For more information about living trusts and whether one if right for you, contact us today! For almost a decade, the Law office of Sean M. Tanko has advised residents of Las Vegas, Reno, and neighboring cities who have come to us for Las Vegas estate planning needs.