When creating an estate plan, many people assume that a will is all they need. While it’s okay to rely solely on a will, you don’t have to do this. You can partially replace your will with a living trust, which will bring additional benefits to you, your family and your estate plan as a whole.

To determine if a living trust is the right approach, you must first understand why it’s such a popular estate planning tool. Here are five of the top benefits:

  • Avoid probate: If you want to keep any assets away from the probate process, the best way to do so is to transfer them into a living trust. When you rely strictly on a will, all of your assets will go through probate upon your death, which puts additional strain on your loved ones.
  • It can provide for you during incapacity: If you’re unable to care for yourself, such as the result of a serious injury or illness, your trustee can step in and make key decisions on your behalf. This gives you peace of mind at all times, regardless of your age.
  • Privacy protection: A will is public record, giving outsiders the ability to see who received what and how much. Conversely, a living trust is not public record, which provides a high level of privacy protection.
  • Greater control over your assets after your death: For example, you can add a stipulation that your children do not receive anything from the trust until they reach a certain age.
  • Possible to make changes: With a revocable trust, for instance, you can make changes throughout your life. In fact, you can even revoke the trust if you find that you no longer need it.

When estate planning, it’s so easy to get caught up thinking that a will is the only thing you need.

As you learn more about a living trust, with a strong focus on the benefits, you may come to find that it’s the perfect addition to your estate plan. At that point, you can learn more about how to create a trust, the assets to include and whom to name as your trustee.

If you require any assistance, browse our website for more information on living trusts, wills and other estate planning topics.