| HOW DOES A TRUST WORK? DO I REALLY NEED ONE?|
A revocable living trust is an arrangement you make for management and distribution of personal property. Like a will, the trust is "revocable", meaning that it can be altered or disolved it at any time.
Living trusts are established by written agreement or declaration which appoints a "trustee" to administer the property, and which gives detailed instructions on how the property is to be managed and eventually distributed. You can act as trustee and have broad powers to invest and use the trust fund.
The major difference between a last will and a living trust is in the ownership of the property. With the last will, you and your family own the property of your estate, and the court and executor you name will oversee the distribution according to your wishes via probate. With a living trust, all of your property is owned by your trust and you own the trust. Upon your death, the living trust contains instructions for distribution of your assets.
There are several strategies to choose from to make sure that your assets are distributed as you wish and in a timely way. The right strategy depends on your individual circumstances. That is, what is best for your neighbor might not make the most sense for you.
Who should you trust when it comes to estate planning? And how can you tell which tools and strategies will work best for your particular circumstances? The Federal Trade Commission, the government agency that works to prevent fraud, deception and unfair business practices in the marketplace, says that it helps to learn the terms that are used in this aspect of financial planning before you begin conversations about it. For example: Probate is a legal process that usually involves filing a deceased person's will with the local probate court, taking an inventory and getting appraisals of the deceased's property, paying all legal debts, and eventually distributing the remaining assets and property. This process can be costly and time-consuming. Many states have simplified probate for estates below a certain amount, but that amount varies among states. If an estate meets the state's requirements for "expedited" or "unsupervised" probate, the process is faster and less costly.
A living trust, created while you're alive, lets you control the distribution of your estate. You transfer ownership of your property and your assets into the trust. You can serve as the trustee or you can select a person or an institution to be the trustee. If you're the trustee, you will have to name a successor trustee to distribute the assets at your death.
A will is a legal document that dictates how to distribute your property after your death. If you don't have a will, you die intestate, and the law of your state determines what happens to your estate and your minor children. The probate court governs this process.
A living trust is different from a living will. A living will expresses your wishes about being kept alive if you're terminally ill or seriously injured.
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THE REVOCABLE LIVING TRUST SOFTWARE WAS DESIGNED TO WORK IN THE FOLLOWING STATES:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.