How A Living Trust Works

Don’t Be Caught Off Guard: How Does A Living Trust Work For Your Property

A living trust - it does the fairly same job as a will does. After all, you leave property to the people (beneficiaries) you desire. However, it does one more thing, it avoids probate! A living trust is a legal paper that will control the transfer of named property after you pass on. In the document, you’ll name your beneficiaries to receive the trust property. A will allows you to name primary beneficiaries for certain properties, beneficiaries and alternates for them both.

How A Living Trust Will Work For Your Property

Not sure how a living trust works? Here’s some help for you to understand it: in the document, you must name.

- Property
- Trustee (who will control the property, naming yourself as primary trustee or both you and your spouse as primary trustees)
- Successor trustee; person who will distribute the property after you die
- Trust beneficiaries; people to get your property after you’ve died
- Trust terms; add in the fact that you have the power to amend or revoke any time you want

Once you’ve done this, you can formally add property to the trust. When you have died, the successor trustee obtains that property and gives it over to the beneficiaries. There is no need to go to court for this process.

Failing To Put Property In A Trust

To put property in a trust, you must transfer the title to it. This technically means putting it in the trustee’s name. If the trust never becomes the legal property owner, it means the property never becomes valid in the trust. This means the property cannot be transferred when you pass on. The property either goes to the residuary beneficiary in your will, or if you fail to make a will, it goes to a family member according to your state’s intestacy laws. Whatever the case may be, it will need to go through the probate court system.

New Ownership Document For Properties With Titles

Any property that has a title such as a house or vehicle means you must arrange for a new ownership document. For your house, it means creating a new deed. For instance, you want to transfer your house into your living trust. You need to prepare a deed that states you personally want to transfer your house to “Jade Stacey” as the trustee of the “Jade Stacey Living Trust”. After that, you must file a real estate deed with your county’s recorder’s office or whatever your state calls the official land records office.

Some kinds of valuable property like your artwork or jewelry don’t typically have titles. For these kinds of properties, you transfer them to the living trust just by listing them in the trust document and making it known that the trust owns the property.

A living trust’s magic is that it assumes real presence once you’re dead. Once you pass on, your living trust will not be able to altered or revoked. Since property in the living trust will not go through probate, the successor trustee can transfer the property to the beneficiaries named right away.

Some paperwork will be necessary to ensure that the transfers are complete including preparing new ownership documents. A successor trustee can typically handle these matters on their own (with no lawyer) in just a few weeks. Once the trust property is legally given to all beneficiaries, the trust is no more.

For more helpful legal advice and other resources, go to law doc site, and you can find many legal related information and useful legal forms that are completely free of charges, including Legal Guardianship Forms that become useful by those who want to set up estate planning with or without the help of lawyers.