A Living Trust is an estate planning tool that allows a person avoid Probate, prevent a Conservatorship, and pass property upon death. In its most basic sense, a Trust as a glorified Will. It tells who you want to get your property when you die, but, unlike a Will, it allows property be passed to your beneficiaries outside of Probate and it protects your property in the event you become incapacitated.
In your Living Trust, you nominate someone to be in charge- like an Executor in a Will. In a Trust this person is called your Successor Trustee. You can nominate one person, an alternate person in the event your first choice is unable to act. You can also nominate two people to act together as your co Successor Trustees. Upon your death, your Successor Trustee will be able to access your Trust assets with your Death Certificate (and, in some instances, other basic legal documents).
Your Successor Trustee’s job is to gather your assets, identify creditors, pay your bills and distribute your remaining assets to the beneficiaries you’ve designated. The person you nominate as your Successor Trustee should be someone you trust implicitly as this person will have a great deal of power and responsibility under your Trust. Because your assets will pass outside of Probate, they will pass outside the purview of a Judge’s oversight. This situation lends itself to potential abuse and makes it such that a Trust is not the best tool for every person.
Set an individual consultation with Attorney Leah Larkin to go over your unique situation, your plan for your assets, those things that matter to you, and together, you can create a safe plan to accomplish your goals.