As you're getting older, something you may want to consider is starting a living trust. A living trust is a trust that is created during your lifetime for the easy transfer of your assets. The trust allows your beneficiaries to bypass probate, which saves time and energy following your death.
Living trusts have a trustee who maintains possession of property and assets that are in the trust. That means that the trustee becomes in charge of distributing those assets to beneficiaries following your death. A living trust doesn't have to go through the courts to allow for assets to be divided among beneficiaries.
Understanding living trusts
There are two kinds of living trusts. The first is irrevocable. The second is revocable. With a revocable trust, you can stay as the trustee while you're alive. This means that you will keep assets as part of your estate. However, remember that this could mean that you'll still face estate taxes if your estate is valued too high at the time of your death.
It's normally a better idea to have an irrevocable trust, because assets leave your name and are no longer part of your estate. Therefore, the total value of your estate is lower and may not end up facing estate taxes at all.
If you're considering a living trust, it's a good idea to talk to a legal professional about the trusts you're considering. Estate planning is an important part of growing older, and it can give you the tools you need to protect your assets and heirs in the future.