Ask Annette

Occasionally we receive common questions from clients. This month we wanted to share a few questions we receive about living trusts.

If you have a question about a living trust, probate, wills, or estate planning in general contact Annette Dawson-Davis at annette@dawsondavislaw.com

What are some advantages of having a living trust?

A properly funded living trust keeps your beneficiaries out of probate court, thus saving your beneficiaries thousands of dollars.  A living trust allows your successor trustee to easily manage your assets for you if you lack capacity and cannot manage your assets.  A living trust also allows your trustee to manage funds for your beneficiaries who are not good with money.

What are some of the common mistakes people make when they have made a living trust?

The biggest problem is that some people never get around to putting their accounts or homes into their living trust.  If the accounts do not have a “pay on death” or “transfer on death” beneficiary, a probate may be necessary if the accounts have a cumulative value of more than $150,000.  If a home is not in the trust it will need to be probated unless there is proof they intended the home to be in the trust.  Lenders will sometime make people take their home out of their living trust to refinance, and then the borrowers forget to deed the home back into the trust.

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