What are the steps involved in setting up a living trust?

During their estate planning considerations, many people in Florida consider setting up a living trust in order to avoid probate and to provide for either themselves or for others while the trust creator is still living. A living trust can lend flexibility. Many grantors name themselves as trustee and find little practical difference between managing the trust and managing its property directly.

When people have very simple estates, they can use software or other guides to set up a living trust. Most people will find that their estate is too complex to prepare it themselves, however. Many banks also offer to set up trusts for people. While banks may not charge a set-up fee, they do generally charge fees for managing the trust which can be quite expensive. Many people prefer instead using the services of an estate planning attorney to help prepare these instruments.

It is important to ask what documents will be needed in advance and to collect them prior to the appointment. People should also make a list of all of their assets and property as well as where they want it to go when they die. They should also make certain they coordinate their trust with the rest of their estate and that they plan for if they become incapacitated. Deciding whether to make the trust revocable or irrevocable is also an important consideration. After the trust is set up, the grantor will need to then name the trustee and fund the trust.

Setting up a living trust can help avoid probate, which is often an expensive and lengthy process. A living trust can be a very important tool for people to use in order to protect their assets and provide for themselves as well as their intended beneficiaries.

Source: American Bar Association , "Living Trusts ", November 03, 2014

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