Living trusts are not always ideal

On Behalf of | May 23, 2016 | Trusts

Some Nevada residents might worry that probate will cause the value of their estate to be reduced after their death. Living trusts are often promoted as the best solution for avoiding probate activity, allowing one’s heirs to directly receive prescribed assets without the publicity and cost associated with going through probate. However, there are cases in which a trust really does not have any advantage over a will.

A married couple can often avoid probate upon the death of the first marital partner without a need for a trust. When assets are owned jointly and rights of survivorship are in place, the surviving party typically continues to retain those joint assets. Further, probate proceedings can be limited in simple cases. Whether an estate plan involves a will or a living trust, there are certain legal fees that may need to be addressed as the assets in question are distributed to one’s heirs. In cases involving the service of a family member as executor of a will, fees owed to the executor might be waived.

In many cases, advertising of living trust materials can focus on emotional concerns about the potential squandering of one’s hard-earned money and other assets. However, creating a trust with legal forms could have negative consequences. It is important that legal documents related to end-of-life wishes be executed correctly to ensure that they will be upheld after one’s death.

People who are unsure of the best option for managing their belongings in their latter years might discuss the possibilities with an estate planning lawyer. A lawyer may provide a comparison of the benefits and drawbacks of both wills and living trusts. Legal counsel may also help in evaluating potential tax issues that would be faced by one’s heirs. In some cases, a client might need help in addressing issues such as leaving different amounts to different children and family members.