Want to Avoid Probate? Probably Need a Trust.
Want to Avoid Probate?
Stay Out of Court
You’ve heard people say they want to avoid probate. Nobody likes going to court. We typically associate it with criminals, divorce and high-dollar settlements. Unless you’re the Plaintiff collecting an enormous damages award, or the litigator who relishes moments in the courtroom like an actor on stage, nobody would be caught dead there.
Do you think your beneficiaries think differently?
A lot of people don’t realize that when they die, their children will likely have to go to court. There, they will file an application to be appointed as personal representative of their parents estate and open probate. This is a judicial process.
The Registrar eventually approves their application and sends authoritative documents called “Letters Testamentary.” These Letters authorize the personal representative to administer the decedent’s (deceased parent’s) estate.
If a way existed to circumvent the judicial process of probate and handle your affairs within the family, would you want to do that instead? Most people answer yes to this question. The logical solution to avoiding probate is to form a Revocable Living Dynasty Trust.
Revocable Living Dynasty Trust to Avoid Probate
A living trust operates as a contract that controls and manages property over time. The Trust has three designated positions: 1) Grantor 2)Trustee and 3) Beneficiary.
The Grantor creates the Trust. The Trustee manages and controls the Trust. The Beneficiary enjoys the assets in the Trust.
Initially, the Grantor holds all three of these positions. They create the Trust, manage the Trust and enjoy the lifetime benefits of the Trust.
Once the Grantor dies, a successor Trustee takes their place and continues to manage the Trust. Usually this means they will administer the Trust Estate. They take an accounting of the Trust assets and pay applicable creditors and taxes. After they complete these tasks, they follow the instructions for distribution in the Trust.
Notice that none of these steps involved going into a courtroom or filing documents with the court.
That’s because when you have a Revocable Living Dynasty Trust, you sidestep going to the court. This means your assets remain private. Your family knows your business. Not the public.
And because the court stays out of the picture, administration of your parent’s estate goes smoother. You don’t have judicial oversight at every turn, so it generally takes less time with less expense.
If you would like to learn more about Revocable Living Dynasty Trusts and how your family could benefit from one, please call our office at 480.535.8000. We can help guide you in the right direction.