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Is a living trust right for me?

Living trusts have become an important component of east planning over the last several decades, but their popularity often overshadows their usefulness. If you are considering setting up a living trust, take a moment to consider whether it is truly the best estate planning tool for your particular needs.

The creation of a living trust may take much longer, cost more, and require more regular maintenance than your estate requires, depending on the nature of your situation. If, for instance, you are younger than about 50 years old, then a living trust is probably not necessary for your needs. Since it will probably be a long time until you need to worry about passing your estate on and circumventing probate, by the time you reach a more appropriate age for establishing a living trust, the rules that govern how probate operates may have altered significantly, which will require significant modifications to your estate plan.

Furthermore, if your estate is not very large, or if you are married and plan to pass your assets to your spouse, then a living trust may not be the right fit. In many ways, setting up a living trust is like buying a sports car — of course, anyone is entitled to do so, but if your life is such that you don't often have the opportunity to drive it, or if the expense is difficult to justify on your budget, you may want to reconsider.

Of course, each person's situation is different and should be evaluated individually. If you are ready to determine which estate planning tool is best for you, you can list the guidance of an experienced attorney who will help you understand the nature of your estate and what will best serve your needs.

Source: findlaw, "Why Setting Up a Living Trust May Be Unnecessary," accessed Jan. 13, 2017

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