One of our clients decided to set up a living trust after witnessing the probate process of their grandmother’s estate. This probate process took six years to complete.
Imagine what the family had to go through during this six years period. Imagine what your family would have had to go through. Six years in probate mean six years without access to any of the savings, stocks, bonds or any other assets. If the family members have no other financial support, they can be stranded during this six years and potentially get into debt.
The Cost of Probate Process
Also during this time period, the assets are under the control of the probate court. Without proper monitoring, the value of the assets can increase or decrease significantly, all out of control of the true heirs. Imagine having all the stock assets locked in probate during a market crash. The family will not be able to do anything aside from watching their assets drop to half of their original value, or worse.
In some other cases, if a person gets into an accident or is seriously ill and become incapable of decision making, the probate process still doesn’t start until that person passes away. This means their spouse or loved ones may not automatically get powers of attorney to take care of them. Their assets are frozen and cannot be used to pay for their care or funeral process. All of these can add up to a huge burden on the family, on top of the pain of losing a family member.
In the end, after years of probate as in the extreme case of our client, the probate fee can also pile up to a huge amount and eat away at the estate. Usually, 5 to 10% of the estate will go to probate attorneys and court fees instead of the family.
Would you want your family to go through the same headaches during the probate process? Would you want them to get stranded for years without any financial support? Would you rather give them the full amount, rather than having part of it spent on attorneys and court fees?
All of these issues are the reasons why many people want to plan ahead for their family’s future.
Avoid the Headaches with a Living Trust
A living trust can help you decide how you want your assets handled and avoid the costly probate process. You can specify a person to get powers of attorney if you ever become incapable of managing your estate. You can decide how to distribute or manage your estate in the event of your death. Such decisions are final and are much harder to contest, comparing to a will.
It truly takes a simple step to take care of your family future and to have everything arranged for. Talk to an estate planning expert at Heritage Living Trust to see how you can protect your family future starting with the right preparation today!
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