Franklin, TN – Many people believe that a trust, which is a valuable estate planning tool, is reserved only for the upper echelons of society. This is a common mistake, and it may be costing people time, money, and headaches. According to Franklin, TN, estate planning firm The Law Office of Trent Linville, a living trust is a vehicle by which individuals can ensure their assets are distributed. The best part: unlike a will, death isn’t necessary for a trust to take effect.
Families throughout Tennessee may be making one major mistake during their estate planning endeavors. Estate planning attorney Trent Linville says that the vast majority of individuals only have a will. While this is an important piece of the planning puzzle, they aren’t always ideal as the only document, and a living trust may be a smart addition (or even a better option).
According to Linville, a trust is a legal arrangement that allows an individual to decide how their assets will be distributed to their heirs upon their death or incapacitation. An added benefit of a living trust is in the name. A living trust can take effect while a person is still living, which is highly beneficial for those who may face future cognitive decline.
A trust might be a wise option for those who want to be specific about to whom, how, and when their assets are divided up. A trust is also a great option for those who wish to leave money to charitable organizations, such as an animal shelter or school. Many people can also experience significant tax benefits by relying on a trust instead of a will.
A living trust is also flexible, and it can be structured so that the beneficiary/trustee is protected from creditors and receives the lowest tax rate possible.
Although most estate planning attorneys also recommend having a will, the biggest hurdle of this is death. The will won’t take effect for an individual who suffers a stroke or other issue that renders them unable to make decisions about themselves and their finances. Forming a living trust may also help a decedent keep their family safe against a long and drawn-out probate process as well as the scrutiny of the public. Many people do not realize that wills are public documents. This means that anyone can request to view it and see what the decedent left behind and to whom.
Trent Linville explains that a revocable living trust is one of the most common estate planning tools. In fact, many attorneys recommend them before any other estate planning vehicle. It’s much like a bank account in that an individual can use the assets in the trust during their lifetime. They can also remove items or add to it. The primary difference is that the owner of the trust has significant control over who has access to their money while they are still alive.
Although having a living trust offers many benefits, there are some trade-offs that people should consider. First, drafting a trust may be more expensive than creating a simple will. However, some of these added costs may be offset by creating a trust and avoiding probate. An estate planning attorney can help each client better understand which documents – many people utilize both a will and a living trust – is best for their situation.
The Law Offices of Trent Linville is located in Franklin, TN. Linville is an experienced attorney that offers custom estate planning solutions, including power of attorney, living trusts, and wills. For more information, visit LinvilleLegal.com.
The Law Office of Trent Linville, PLLC
725 Cool Springs Boulevard, Suite 600
Disclaimer: The views, suggestions, and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Scottish Opinion journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.