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What is a Living Trust?
- Living Trusts are a legal arrangement set up during the life of the Settlor for asset protection and management reasons.
- Once a Living Trust is formed the transfer of the ownership of assets from the Settlor to the Trust is in effect.
- Once you die and after the Probate process, a Will becomes effective. Assets in a Living Trust are not included in the Probate process, due to the fact that the assets belong to the Trust.
- Many assets, such as property, savings and investment, can be placed in a Living Trust.
- Trustees manage the assets for the Settlor and the beneficiaries of the Trust. The Trust is in effect during the lifetime of the Settlor and beyond.
benefits of having a Living Trust?
- A Living Trust bypasses the time-consuming probate process and assets can be managed without the Court’s having to approve the grant.
- The Trustees do not have to wait for the settlor to die if the settlor wants to provide help to the beneficiaries. During their lifetime, they can witness the benefits for their beneficiaries.
- By placing your assets in a trust, they stay protected until they leave the trust, then they become exposed.
- You have full control, you decide what the trustees can and cannot do. This is helpful when, due to incapacity such as dementia, you can not control your financial and legal affairs at some point in the future.
- A Living Trust will cover your child’s share of assets if your partner should marry or cohabit after you are no longer here.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Real estate, business interests, investments, cash accounts, notes payable to you, insurance policies and tangible goods are among assets that can be placed within a trust.
Yes this is possible, however only a third party will be able to add the assets, thus becoming a “settlor”. By adding additional assets it may incur a tax effect.
You can avoid probate by placing your assets into a trust during your lifetime. However it is recommended to have both a will and trust, this can be handy for example if you have any assets that are not in your trust.
Revocable trusts can be changed at any time or completely revoked by the trustee, making it the most flexible type of trust that is available.
Irrevocable trust prohibits any changes or cancellations to the trust. The settlor gives up all rights and power over the trust, thus he cannot act as a trustee or withdraw any assets from the trust. This option may appeal to some for tax advantages or other personal reasons.
Generally all of your assets should be in your trust, however, they are not designed to avoid inheritance tax. If this is one of your concerns we can help with assessing your estate. The IHT policies that involve setting up a trust can be complex, we can go through this with you and create tax effective solutions.
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