I’ve been asked by some financial professionals why property would need to be styled in some way other than just in an individual’s name. There are a couple of reasons. Perhaps not all apply to you, but consider the following.
You have a will. That’s nice. Wills transfer property after people die but wills must go through probate (proving up) first. This takes time and money to accomplish and may be difficult in some situations. You have to wait for death certificates; hire an attorney; wait for the court; make everything public; file more papers; wait for creditors to file claims. . . . Wouldn’t it be nice to avoid all this if possible?
There is an alternative called a ‘super will’. That’s my synonym for a living revocable trust. It transfers property after you die, AND it does so instantly. No probate. No death certificates needed. No court. No waiting. No freezing of accounts, even for a few days or weeks. Very private.
This probably sounds much more appealing than the scenario in which there is only a will. You execute the trust. You deed your home to the trust. You make qualified plans payable to the trust. You change the title to bank and investment accounts and CDs into the name of the trust. You’re done. You’re covered.
There are additional benefits to creating a trust. Successor trustees and beneficiaries don’t have to worry about their parents’ incapacity or deaths affecting the assets in the trust. The trust survives death and never becomes incapacitated. The beneficiaries receive the assets protected. That’s right. They receive through the trust itself, which protects the assets from spouses, divorcing spouses, creditors, predators, bankruptcies, judgments and liens.
If your curiosity is piqued, and you are ready to discuss your situation, give me a call today. I’ll make sure you understand your options so that you can make the best decisions for you and your loved ones. We’ll help you put the pieces together.
photo credit: Horia Varlan