Trusting your Trust Instead of Trusting the Court
What is the most valuable asset that most of us own? Our homes. When developing your estate plan, you have two options when it comes to how to leave your assets behind, including your home. You can choose:
1. To say in your will who gets the home or that it should be sold and the proceeds divided however you want.
2. To place your home in a Trust NOW, and then say in the Trust what you want done with with it after you die.
What's the difference? Time. Cost. Courts.
If you place your home in a trust now, it won't need to be dealt with in the probate court. You just have to deed the home to the trust, have that deed recorded, then make sure the trust is going to be run by someone you trust after your die (we call this person the successor trustee). You can run the trust for now. You put language in the trust designating how you want it dealt with, then IMMEDIATELY upon your death, the successor trustee can carry out whatever instructions you left behind simply by obtaining a copy of the death certificate and providing a copy of the trust, along with their ID, at the closing of the sale of the home. All without involving the court. The cost of a trust and a deed and a recording can seem high, but so can litigation.
Which brings us to scenario 2. If the home is left in your estate and dealt with in the will, the person your will designates as the executor has to take the will to the court, pay a filing fee, and often has to pay an attorney to help them. Once at the court it can take weeks to get appointed by the court and given documents to start liquidating the estate. Then if there are challenges to the will, you can end up in court way more than you want. A will is pretty cheap compared to a trust, but the filing fee and the time and easiness of selling the house have value too.
So the question you need to ask yourself is this: whom do you trust? I think in most cases it is wisest to trust your trust.
Don’t trust just anyone (even a DIY package) to do your trust. Hire an experienced estate planning attorney. Call me today. You can trust me with your trust.
This blog is legal advertising and promotional material, it is not intended to be formal legal advice or to create an attorney-client relationship.