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What is a Living Trust?

Benefits of a Living Trust   (click bullet point to learn more)

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State you wishes to be carried out upon your incompetence or death

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A Living Trust is often called a "Will Substitute" because it accomplishes all a Will does and more. A Will takes its life upon the maker's death, a Living Trust, on the other hand takes its life as soon as it is created. A Living Trust allows for living planning as well as death planning. Unlike a Will, a Living Trust can provide for your care during your lifetime. In your Trust you can clearly state, in as much detail as you desire, how you wish to be taken care of with your own Trust property in case of your incapacity or incompetence as a result of senility, accident or illness. You can choose who your trustees will be, as well as, provide for the care of your loved ones should you lose control of your mental faculties. A Living Trust also allows you to control the distribution of all your property in any way you desire. Through a well drafted Living Trust the wealth you have spent a lifetime accumulating can be kept in your family, and no outside entity will ever have access to it.

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Avoidance of all probate

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Probate is the legal process of transferring assets from an incompetent person to a competent person, or a deceased person to living person. Associated with probate are legal and administrative fees totaling about 6% of your estate’s value. The Living Trust avoids all probate. The reason for probate is due to the fact that the incompetent or deceased individual’s name is on the title of an asset. If your Living Trust is fully-funded and all your assets are titled to your Living Trust, then there is no need for probate because no assets exist in your name, they are all in the name of your Living Trust for which you (and your spouse) are the Grantor(s), Trustee(s) and Beneficiary(s).

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Planning for death taxes

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The Living Trust is totally revocable, thus it is completely under the control of the person who executes it. Every asset in the Living Trust shall be included in the taxable estate of the person who set up the trust, and so it is not, per se, an estate tax savings vehicle. However, a properly drafted Living Trust can provide a substantial savings in the federal and state death taxes.

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Difficult to contest or attack

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Your Living Trust is a private document and not involved in a public process such as Probate Court. There exist no forum that encourages debate and advocacy of a Living Trust as with a Will. There are no legal formalities associated with a Living Trust as with a Will. A Living Trust is less vulnerable to attack on the grounds of incompetence, fraud or duress due to the fact that it is not subject to the so-called "Statue of Wills", thereby assuring that the document shall work as you want it to.

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Continuity of your affairs

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Simply due to the fact that there is no probate associated with a Living Trust, the transition that will occur upon your death will be smooth and uneventful. Your beneficiaries will immediately and automatically begin to receive income and principle on your death, as per the terms of your Living Trust. This is a major advantage of a Living Trust over a Will because it reduces cost and limits undue stress and anxiety for your survivors.

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Keeps your affairs private


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Living Trusts, as with all trusts, are private documents. They are not made public during your life or after your death. The use of a Living Trust will guarantee that your affairs and your family's affair will not be exposed to public scrutiny.

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Easy to change and maintain

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Living Trusts are simple to amend. Trust amendments, regardless of their scope, require only your signature in order to become infused into the trust agreement. Once a Trust is in force we like to meet with our client at least once a year to catch up, review the agreement, and discuss any changes that might need to be made based on their current situation.

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Income Tax neutral

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A living trust has absolutely tax neutral. Any exceptions and deductions you are entitled to prior to the Trust, are available once the Trust has been created. Your income taxes are filed in the same manner after a Trust has been created as before.

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