When Texas residents pass away, their property and possessions typically go through the probate process. This process involves the settlement as well as the distribution of the decedents' assets in a manner that honors the terms of their wills. However, trusts can be helpful for those who wish to avoid probate.
Many Americans think that wills can help them to avoid the potentially lengthy probate process. Probate can last as short as three months and as long as three years, depending on the size of a person's estate. This is a significant period of time for surviving family members to wait, particularly if they are in need of income from the deceased person's estate. This process can become even more burdensome if the will is contested.
Unfortunately, a will is not enough to avoid the often inconvenient probate process. With a will, the assets that a person owns individually and intends to pass on to his or her beneficiaries are still subject to the process of probate. Drafting a revocable living trust, however, provides for the transfer one's possessions and property to family members without having to go through probate.
With living trusts, Texas residents can facilitate the timely distribution of their assets. A trust can be particular valuable when one's beneficiaries are minor children since a trustee will manage the distribution of one's assets. Proper legal guidance may help those who wish to establish trusts in a manner that ensures their property will be distributed efficiently and quickly in the event of their deaths.
Source: nerdwallet.com, "5 Smart Estate-Planning Steps to Avoid Probate", James E. Salter, Feb. 10, 2016