One of the most basic decisions to make when estate planning is whether you should create a Will or a Living Trust. This post gives 5 reasons why an individual would choose to create a Living Trust over a Will. The five reasons are:
1) A will leads you directly into the probate court. A Will must be filed with the probate court within 30 days of your death, and will direct the judge on how your estate is to be distributed. The court then must make sure debts are paid before your property is able to be distributed to your heirs. A living trust avoids probate.
2) Contested wills are commonplace among family members having a quarrel over assets included in the estate.
3) Probate can take anywhere from 9 months to 2 years or longer depending upon the size of the estate. Attorney’s fees can add up over this time-frame.
4)Living Trusts have been characterized as only being for large estates. This is NOT TRUE. Since the process for transferring to heirs is so simple and avoids the probate court, even a small estate will benefit from creating a living trust.
5)Wills are an entirely public document; a living trust, on the other hand, remains private because it is not filed with the court or published in any way.
The Living Trust all-included packages cost between $1000-1500 on average to set up for an individual. However, the money will be saved on hiring a probate lawyer down the road (probate lawyers can cost thousands of dollars even for the smallest estate, and mostly charge by the hour). The average delay after death of administering a Living Trust is 2 weeks, much shorter than the average probate process. Furthermore, a Living Trust remains private, and you get to personally decide whether or not to have court involvement. These are just some reasons why a living trust may be the estate planning decision to make, but in some situations a will still is the preferred option. Call McAvoy & Murphy Law Firm today at 262-261-0834 to enjoy a FREE 30 minute consultation, and one of our attorneys will determine which estate planning option suits you best!