A Living Trust is often misunderstood by the public. This is largely because they have been promoted as a way to save taxes and avoid a probate. Although a Living Trust can avoid a probate, it is no more effective in saving Estate Taxes than a properly drafted Trust in a Will.
A Living Trust is typically revocable during the lifetime of the Trustor. This results in the trust not having a separate existence for tax purposes, since it can be revoked or modified. Following the death of the Trustor the trust can be irrevocable, and the successor Trustee is then typically directed to distribute the trust assets according to the terms of the trust, much like a Will, but without the need to be appointed by the court like with a probate.
Most people do not need a Living Trust, but for those who do it can simplify the transfer of assets following the death of the Trustor and provide for a trustee to manage a person’s estate in the event a person becomes incapacitated. If you own real property outside the State of Washington, it is often a good idea to transfer title to real property owned in another State to a Living Trust to avoid a probate in the other State.
If you need a Living Trust, Paul Houser, Jr. can prepare a Living Trust for a reasonable price, tailored to meet your needs.