Do I need a living trust?
There are two basic ways you can create your estate plan, using a Will as the foundation of the plan or using a Living Trust. But with all of the conflicting information on the internet, it’s hard to know which one is right for you.
Do I need a Living Trust, or would a Will be sufficient? That’s a question we hear a lot.
The answer? It depends on what’s important to you.
Living Trusts are easier for your loved ones
If you own a home and want to make things easy for your loved ones when you die, a Living Trust is the best way to accomplish that. Without a trust your family will need to go through probate.
Colorado probate is not a horrible monster, but it’s still not a party. It takes an average of 9-24 months, requires paperwork and meeting a number of legal deadlines, and may feel like a hassle. It also costs money, typically thousands of dollars for the lawyer and other costs.
Trusts allow you to manage money for your loved ones
In addition, a Living Trust allows you to manage money for your loved ones over time, making sure they don’t spend it all before they’ve matured, protecting them from future divorces, taking care of loved ones with special needs.
Living Trusts help with disability planning
If you are unable to manage your own affairs due to a stroke, brain injury, or dementia, a Living Trust ensures your Trustee will be able to pay your bills. Without a trust, your loved ones may need to petition the court for a conservatorship, and once the court gets involved it gets expensive and intrusive.
A Power of Attorney alone does not prevent court intervention because most banks and other institutions will only accept them for a year after they’re signed.
When is a Will enough?
If you own real estate and don’t mind having your family go through the hassle, expense, and intrusiveness of probate a Will might do just fine. If the short-term cost is more important than the long-term cost, you may need to use a Will. Trusts cost a little bit more to set up, but they typically save multiple thousands of dollars when you die.
Want more information on Wills versus Living Trusts, probate, or estate planning in general? Register now for one of our Webinars or Workshops.
Getting your estate plan doesn’t have to be complicated:
- Attend a webinar or workshop.
- Schedule a Personal Consultation with one of our Attorneys.
- Get your Plan.