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Revocable living trusts can make estate administration easier

Anyone who has ever had to deal with probate administration following the death of a loved one understands how complex the process can be. Add to this uncomfortable situation the grief one feels after a family member dies and you get a scenario that no one wants to face.

So, what is the best way to avoid probate? For many, the answer is a revocable living trust established before a person becomes incapacitated or dies.

Many people believe a revocable living trust is simply a good way to save on taxes associated with an estate, but according to attorneys, that's not the real benefit. The greatest advantage a revocable living trust provides is keeping the estate out of probate, which is a court-supervised procedure that determines how to distribute assets left behind when a person dies.

Attorneys also point out that a revocable trust can be crucial in eliminating the need for a court-appointed guardianship when and if a person becomes incapacitated. In a nutshell, having a revocable trust provides asset distribution and also identifies who will manage an estate following death.

Attorneys are quick to point out that while other legal documents such as a durable power of attorney can keep survivors out of probate, a revocable living trust provides deeper benefits. For instance, this kind of trust can prevent family disputes over money and protect an estate's privacy. A trust can also convince a judge about the deceased person's wishes in the event a will becomes lost.

When you factor in the generally low cost of a revocable living trust, the tax savings and other benefits it provides, it just makes good sense to have one in place along with your will and other legal documents. A good New Jersey legal team can answer any questions about living trusts and probate administration while ensuring that the solution is a good idea for your specific situation.

Source: Palm Beach Daily News, "Need a revocable living trust?" Gail Liberman, Apr. 27, 2014

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