Looking for info on Trusts. If there is no contesting and assets have a beneficiary like accounts and home is it really necessary?
The benefits of establishing a Trust over a DIY Will (which you should never do) are far too many to answer in this forum. I can provide a few quick key benefits: 1. Avoiding the delay, expense, and public record of the Probate Courts; 2, avoiding potential court guardianship over assets owned by you, in the event of your disability; 3. creating a comprehensive distribution plan for your beneficiaries; and 4. providing instructions and controls over funds distributed to beneficiaries who are too young to manage an inheritance.
Although naming beneficiaries on a bank account or an IRA may work for you, if you own real estate in your own name at the time of your death, a Probate proceeding will be required to transfer title on that real estate. I strongly suggest that you consult with an experienced trust or estate planning attorney. Many offer complimentary initial consultations.
Attorney Kiselstein has provided you with some excellent answers, so I will simply reiterate the fact that the main reason why my clients have me prepare an estate plan with a revocable living trust is to have their loved ones avoid the expense and stress of the probate court procedure. The majority of my clients appreciate the fact that their house, which has a value that exceeds $100,000, will not be subject to the probate laws. I explain to people on a regular basis that a Last Will and Testament, on its own, is only an instruction letter to a probate judge, indicating where you would like to have your assets distributed to. A revocable living trust, if properly prepared and funded, will avoid the necessity of the probate procedure.
I agree with the other answers. I would add that if the real property is held in joint tenancy or tenancy by the entirety it will pass to the joint tenant by operation of law and probate would not be necessary as to that asset. However, if the current owner is the last of the joint tenants, a trust may be helpful. Also, if the only reason for probate would be the real property , you could also use a land trust to same effect and should cost less. Using an estate planning attorney would be helpful and make sure it is done right.
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