Trusts – An Alternative to a Will

A revocable trust is a written document that is very similar in form and function as a Last Will and Testament. However, a Trust has many advantages over a Will. A Trust is very flexible and can be used relatively easily after the Grantor has died by the Successor Trustee to allow the transfer of assets to beneficiaries.

One advantage of a Trust is freedom from compulsory judicial oversight and control. This usually allows the transfer of assets to the ultimate beneficiaries without having to file and then close a probate action in county court. It also allows for properties in multiple counties to be transferred without having to open multiple actions in multiple counties or multiple states. Also, since there is no probate proceeding, the beneficiaries can save on legal and personal representative fees which could total to be as high as 6% of the assets of the estate.

Another benefit is that a trust remains a private document unless the beneficiaries or the trustee feel the need to start an action to enforce one or more terms of the trust against a third party or each other.

Lastly, a Trust is very flexible in that is allows for spendthrift provisions for beneficiaries and can allow for continued trust existence in cases where the beneficiaries have not reached the age of majority or are incapacitated.

This Article is intended for general information and is not intended to provide legal advice.