How is distribution upon death different if I have a living trust rather than a will?


Answer:  When your assets are not in a living trust, they are distributed according to your will through the probate process.  This process is usually time consuming, cumbersome, expensive and a matter of public record so anyone can know your affairs.  As long as assets remain in probate, they continue to remain under court supervision.  At your death a living trust enables your successor trustee to step in and have the power to immediately distribute the assets as set out in your living trust.  The living trust also provides greater flexibility for assets to remain in the trust to be distributed later without court supervision, since the trust can “live on” as a private legal entity after a person’s death.  If you desire a delayed distribution or special distribution arrangements, you must make these arrangements as a specific provision of your trust.


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