Do You Need to Create a Living Trust?

A living trust can benefit a person if they have a titled asset and want to make life easier for the family after their death. It allows a person to manage their assets during life and provide a plan for distributing the assets after death while avoiding the potentially time-consuming probate process.

Why Would One Require a Revocable Living Trust?

When a person sets up a trust, that person is labeled the “grantor.” The grantor determines the trust’s terms and the assets that go into it. Most grantors name themselves as the trustee, thereby managing the trust’s assets while they are alive. They also name a successor trustee who takes over after the grantor dies. The successor trustee distributes the assets held in trust to the named beneficiaries.

A primary reason for creating a living trust is for beneficiaries to avoid probate. A stand-alone will does not avoid probate.  Probate is the formal, court process of transferring a titled asset out of a deceased person’s name, into a living person’s name.  This court process can take months, to years, and be subject to costs and attorney’s fees. Assets are transferred by the Court when the probate concludes.

Generally, a revocable living trust does not have to be viewed or approved by any court, nor recorded in Washoe County. Therefore, the trust’s assets can be transferred to the beneficiaries upon a person’s death without waiting. There is also the benefit of the transfer taking place in private, unlike a probate which is a public record for anyone to see.

A revocable living trust can be particularly beneficial for people with larger estates because these are usually more complicated. A trust can be useful for people leaving property to minors, to provide for their ongoing care. The property can be paid out on a milestone, or for example, a birthday.

Living trusts are a “win-win” for the handling of estates after death.  To be proactive with their estate planning, people in Nevada can contact an attorney at Surratt Law Practice and schedule a consult.

Kimberly Surratt served for eight years on the executive council and has been the vice chair and then chair of the State Bar of Nevada Family Law Section. In addition, she is the President-Elect of the Nevada Justice Association and the chair of the domestic lobbying committee. She has lobbied with the Nevada Justice Association since 2004.

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A pour-over will is a special will that provides that some or all of a person’s assets be transferred to their trust rather than specific beneficiaries or heirs through the probate process. Any assets unaccounted for “pour over” into the person’s trust, helping the estate avoid costly probate. Here is a closer look at what this legal document entails.