People in Texas know well that estate planning can help them achieve their goals as they relate to the distribution of assets after their death. What they may not understand is the vast array of options that they have to choose from to achieve these goals. Because there are so many choices, including trusts and wills, many find it helpful to review all applicable laws and procedures as they enter the estate planning process.
Trusts are one area that may be confusing to some readers in Texas. This is because many people believe that they need a large amount of assets to make such an estate planning tool effective. That is not the case, says one recent report. In fact, the same article notes that many people can benefit from a living trust, both before and after death.
A living trust is one that is created by an individual with the intention to protect assets and avoid the probate process. In it, the trust takes ownership of most, if not all, of the assets of an individual. This allows the trusts created to be administered after death without the probate process. This is most often completed by the successor trustee named to replace the original trustee, who is usually the creator of the estate planning instrument.
Estate planning can be intimidating. Considering one's own mortality is often difficult. However, when a person uses a will or trusts to plan for their assets to be distributed when they die, their heirs can benefit by a reduction in time and cost.
Source: Fox Business, "Trust Me! What You Need to Know About Trusts," David Graham, April 1, 2013