Do You Need a Living Trust?

elder care laws Meurer Law Offices DenverDo you need a living trust? Here at the Meurer Law Offices in Denver, we know that making sure that your estate planning is done correctly can feel stressful and a little overwhelming. After all, you’re protecting a lifetime of hard work and want your wishes to be carried out as you intended after passing. Here are a few helpful tips to consider when you are thinking about putting together a living trust, also known as a revocable living trust.

Avoiding Probate

You typically need a living trust to avoid forcing beneficiaries through the probate process. During probate, a deceased person’s assets are inventoried and distributed. Probate can be expensive and time-consuming with decisions made by the court, not you. However, there are a number of ways to distribute your assets that are not part of your living trust such as giving gifts in advance, adding beneficiaries to various accounts (a pay-on-death beneficiary for your bank accounts) and holding your house in joint tenancy with right of survivorship.

Revocable living trusts also allow you to retain control of your assets now, as well as keep the courts out of your affairs if you become incapacitated or pass away. They offer a level of flexibility for various types of assets and property, so this route has benefits that some other methods of distribution do not. For example, a living trust, enables you to name alternate beneficiaries if the primary beneficiary dies before you.

If you are interested in putting together a living trust, contact us here at Meurer Law Offices in Denver. We can help you with an estate plan that meets your specific needs.

Living Trust Drawbacks

Revocable living trusts do have a downside. They can be time-consuming to establish and need ongoing maintenance as you acquire or shed assets. They are more of an investment that a will – though having a simple will as a backup device is often recommended. These drawbacks are often outweighed by the benefits for people with large estates.

Consider Your Age

People with a middle-class income, who are under 55 and in good health, are not always well-served by a living trust. If this sounds like you, a simple will and making sure that you have listed your beneficiaries might suffice. There is now quite a list of accounts and assets that can be transferred via naming your beneficiary, and it’s expected that this option will continue to expand in use and acceptance.

Consider Your Wealth

Your wealth is the other main factor in considering whether a revocable living trust is right for you. The larger your wealth and assets are, the more likely you’ll be the right fit for a living trust. The types of assets you own should be considered as well. If you own a small business, you may want to consider a living trust even if you are relatively young.

For help determining if you need a living trust, contact us here at the Meurer Law Offices in Denver. Based on your unique situation, we can determine what type of estate planning strategies would best serve you and ensure that your wishes are carried out as intended.