Probate… Ugh! Am I right? When discussing probate with clients, I sometimes feel like I’m talking about Memphis to someone back home (I’m from Knoxville). It’s not that bad! I go there on purpose! I like it there! You shouldn’t be afraid of it!
Why Avoid Probate? Although probate is not as bad as you probably think it is, there are still some very good reasons to avoid it:
- Unnecessary Cost. Why pay unnecessarily to accomplish your wishes?
- No Privacy. Your nosey neighbors will know you cut out one of the kids.
- Delays. It simply takes longer to get your stuff to your family.
How to Avoid Probate? So, how do you avoid probate? Methods include: Continue reading How would you like to avoid probate?
Excellent question. I’m glad you asked.
Broadly speaking, in estate planning there are two types of trusts: revocable and irrevocable. This post will address revocable trusts.
Revocable trusts are also known as living trusts. The short answer is that a revocable trust is a Will substitute. For the most part, after death the same things can be done with revocable trusts as can be done with Wills.
The real difference between a revocable trust and a Will is that to function properly, a revocable trust must actually own your assets (or be named as a beneficiary). In this sense, revocable trusts are like personal holding companies. A good analogy is thinking of a public company such as FedEx. FedEx owns planes and numerous other assets. FedEx has shareholders and a CEO named Fred Smith. During your lifetime, you are the CEO (or trustee) of your trust. You are also the founder (known as either grantor, trustor, or settlor) and the shareholder (or beneficiary).
Continue reading What is a Revocable Living Trust?