Do I Need A Living Trust?


Do I Need A Living Trust? Image

While creating a will is an important and well-known part of estate planning, to make sure your assets and loved ones are truly protected when it comes to Mississippi estate law, looking into a living trust might be the appropriate next step. It streamlines the process of managing your assets while avoiding the lengthy probate process and additional costs for probate lawyers and fees. Essentially, more assets go where you decide, and it’s a simpler process for your family.

There are plenty of estate planning myths out there that have people wondering if a living trust is worth the investment. Let’s clarify some of the reasons a living trust could be the best step to protect your nest egg and your family.

Do you want to make the process as straightforward as possible?

For most people, creating a living trust is a fairly simple process that can be achieved with the guidance of an estate lawyer within a relatively short period of time. The process of enforcing a living trust is then up to a trustee who will be able to transfer your assets simply, without probate. With a will alone, your assets will still go through a chancery court process that will take time, additional expenses from the estate, and may mean that all of your wishes aren’t carried out the way you would hope since the courts ultimately make the final decision. 

Would you prefer to have as much money as possible go to your loved ones?

Sometimes a simple will on its own can seem like a less expensive route, but to make sure your loved ones are more protected for the future, it should be noted that the probate costs can reduce the value of your estate over time. While a living trust is a more sophisticated document with higher upfront costs, it could go a long way to protecting your loved ones and your wishes after your death. 

Do you want to guard your financial decisions in the event of incapacitation?

Many people don’t consider what would happen if an accident or severe illness renders them unable to make financial decisions for themselves. In the event that you were to suffer from a single event like a stroke, or a degenerative condition like Alzheimer's, a living trust could protect your wishes and declare how your finances are handled. Your trustee would be able to follow your wishes when you aren’t able to express them yourself. This takes the pressure off of family members to make important decisions and ensures that your wishes are met as you would want them to be.
 

Do you want to protect your privacy?

During the probate process, the court will organize all of the assets in your estate. Because this information is considered public record once the will is filed, it means anyone can view it by following a simple procedure at the courthouse, or sometimes even online. If you’re concerned about keeping this information private for yourself or family members who receive an inheritance after your death—then a living trust may be right for you. It’s a confidential document, so its terms aren’t open to public scrutiny after your death.

Looking for professional guidance?

There are several things to consider when it comes to estate planning. You likely still have questions about your own circumstances and how to choose the best plan for you. Our team helps families across North Mississippi with legal solutions tailored to their specific needs. Contact us today at Lancaster Law Firm for more information.