Many people in Georgia work hard to plan their estates in order to maximize the benefits of their assets for their heirs and beneficiaries. One mechanism that many individuals can use to improve their estate plans is a revocable living trust. However, many people who have established this kind of trust do not take full advantage of the benefits it offers for themselves or their heirs.
A living trust enables assets to pass directly to the deceased’s heirs without going through probate. A named successor trustee can take over management of the assets and distribute them per the trust agreement rather than under the will. In this kind of arrangement, people transfer the title of major assets to the trust, serving as co-trustees throughout their lives. This kind of trust does not inhibit a person’s ability to control his or her own assets during his or her lifetime and enables a swifter transfer of property than a traditional will.
However, in some cases, people do not reap the benefits of this type of structure. Many individuals never take the step of transferring their assets to the trust, so everything simply passes via the will and has to go through probate. In order to transfer title to the trust, real estate deeds and vehicle titles must be refiled properly. Bank account ownership is easier to change as people will often only need the trust agreement in order to change the records to make it the owner of record on various types of accounts.
When working with an estate planning attorney, it is possible for individuals to not only create important documents like wills, trusts or powers of attorney but also to plan the next important steps to make sure that they have the full intended effect. A lawyer can review a person’s estate plan to ensure that they are maximizing the benefits possible to themselves and their beneficiaries.