Working Your Way Around The Red Tape of Probate
Could it be possible to avoid probate altogether, including; all the Probate Court filings and appearances; the fees of Probate Attorneys and Court Appointed Administrators; the costs of property evaluations, court appearances and court orders to sell items of Estate Property? The answer could be “yes;” if there could be a “Living Trust” to take the place of all of those things.
A Living Trust is a particular kind of trust that was only made possible by a relatively recent change in what had previously been almost ancient law. The effect of that change has simply revolutionized estate planning. A Living Trust can be created by and for an individual person; or one can be created for and in order to benefit a married couple.
Imagine that instead of each item of property in one’s estate being publicly forced to pass through the Government’s courts and employees upon the demise of the owner of the property, the entire estate, and all of its property, could be put in a special place, where it could continue to grow and be cared for by the owner, or someone the owner might appoint to take care of the property once the owner would be gone, or simply decide not to personally do it anymore?
If such an arrangement would be correctly described in a written document, where the author would instruct just how his or her property should be handled, that would be a Trust. If done so for use during the lifetime of the author, it would be a Living Trust. If done by a husband and wife, each creating their own separate Living Trust, with each spouse initially assuming the role of first Trustee, but each appointing the other spouse as the first Successor Trustee, the arrangement would be a Marital Trust.
There would be no estate taxes or costs of probate, because there would be no estate to pass; it would all just stay where it began, constantly being cared for by the instructions fo the person who created the trust.