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Why Living Trust Forms are Important for Anyone

Living trusts aren't just for the rich. A living trust is an important estate planning tool that can be used for asset protection, privacy, avoiding probate, and more. If you don't know whether to make a living trust or have asked yourself "what is living trust", we'll explain some of the important benefits that can be reaped by their use.

What is a Trust?

A living trust fund is created by a document that names the trust, its purposes, identifies a trustee to manage the assets on behalf of the beneficiaries, and describes the trustee's authority. Then assets are identified to be placed in trust, which is called funding the trust.

The creator of the trust is also called the settlor or grantor, and may also be named as both a trustee and beneficiary. The extent of the grantor's powers over the trust will determine whether it is a revocable living trust or an irrevocable trust. The reason why living trust documents are often created as an irrevocable trust is because the lack of the grantor's power over the assets makes it harder for creditors to attach the assets than those placed in a revocable living trust. That's why a trust fund is considered to be an asset protection vehicle.

Why Living Trust Forms are Used

The terms living trust vs will are often misunderstood. There are important differences when comparing a will vs living trust. A last will takes effect only after you die and distributes all the named property to beneficiaries upon your death. Living trusts take effect before your death and can allow the property to be distributed or managed according to your instructions, even after your death. Another difference between these estate planning tools is that a last will becomes a public document when it filed as part of the probate process. Living trusts aren't typically required to go through probate or be filed, so therefore, the property they contain and the parties involved can remain private. If you own real estate in more than one state, living trusts can also avoid having to undergo multiple probate procedures in different states.

US Legal Forms has top quality, state-specific living trust forms that can be easily completed from the convenience of your own computer. Completed samples of a living trust and free previews are also available.

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