How Can A Trust Avoid Probate?
Trusts, by their nature, do avoid probate. The only way a trust might end up in probate proceedings would be if everybody involved dies. For example, there is a disastrous event that kills the whole family, including all of the heirs, the settlors, and the trustee. That trust would have to go to probate court to determine how it would then be distributed.
What Happens To A Trust Upon The Death Of Its Settlor Or Creator?
The trust actually goes to the beneficiaries. A beneficiary would normally be your child or some other designated person, or it could be a church or another organization you want to leave a legacy to. Upon your death, the successor trustee gets control of the trust to distribute to the beneficiaries. Oftentimes, the trustee is also the person who created the trust, but in my practice, we always try to have a successor beneficiary for those trustees because you never know how long each person will live.
Can Someone Create A Trust On Their Own Without The Assistance Of A Qualified Attorney?
Some people have tried it because they believed that it would be cheaper or that lawyers don’t really know what they’re talking about. Maybe they read a how-to book. The actual answer is you can, but you get what you pay for. There’s probably going to be a loophole in whatever you create. There might be a regulation or a law or even a form that doesn’t apply to the state that you’re in. I advise anyone to proceed with a lawyer because estate planning is fraught with pitfalls that you might never be able to overcome.
How Long Does The Initial Trust Administration Take?
A trust is a private document, so it becomes valid for the beneficiaries immediately after the settlor’s death. After they provide proof of death, the trustee can then distribute the assets in accordance with the wishes of the settlor. Trusts have the benefit of being immediate, unless there is some other court action involved to make the process take a little longer. Courts make it clear that they don’t want to deal with trusts; they want people to decide who gets what without the court getting involved. Even if there is the death of a settlor or a trustee, the court can pretty much look at a trust and handle it pretty quickly.
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