When most people think of Estate Planning they think of Last Will and Testament. However, with a Trust, You decide whether your assets will go through the probate process. For many of our clients, a Family Revocable Living Trust is the foundation for their estate plan, which offers many benefits over a Will and is a common planning tool for avoiding probate.
Estate Planning with a Revocable Living Trust allows you to transfer assets into your Trust during your life, where you can continue to manage the Trust assets as Trustee, the Trust terms can be changed by you at any time, and, most importantly, avoid passing through probate upon your death. Avoiding probate makes a smoother transfer of assets to your heirs; saves on administrative costs and probate fees, time delays, publicity, issues with property in multiple states; and reduces Will contests. For married couples a South Carolina Revocable Living Trust can be a joint trust that allows couples to do their estate planning together or can be drafted as two separate trusts, one for each spouse, depending on the specific situation.
Avoid Probate of Real Property in other states
Many of our clients own property outside South Carolina and a trust can be a great way to simplify the process of having an Ancillary Administration in every state where real property is located.
For Example: You recently moved to Fort Mill, SC but still own property in New York and a beach house in North Carolina. Upon your death your Will would have to be probated in South Carolina, then an ancillary probate administration opened in North Carolina and New York to pass title to the real estate. Further potential issues would be: that your Will may need to conform to the laws of three different states, you may need to hire three different probate attorneys, and there will likely be lengthy time delays in transferring assets.
What are the benefits of a revocable living trust?
Beware of Online Scams Selling Fill in the Blank Living Trusts
A revocable living trust is a very popular estate-planning tool that allows you to use your trust during your life and can be personally tailored to your specific family situation. With the increase in popularity of living trusts in South Carolina, there has also been a rise in companies selling online forms with cookie cutter documents that they claim are “drafted by expert attorneys.” No two families are alike, so no two trusts our South Carolina Living Trust Attorneys draft are ever the same. Don’t fall for the myths that you can save on attorney’s fees with a pre-paid trust package or fill in the blank form. In addition to providing reasonable fees to our clients, the South Carolina Trust lawyers at Nosal & Jeter, LLP provide valuable legal advice on all aspects of estate planning with a revocable living trust, including how to title your assets to fully fund your South Carolina living trust.
Funding your Revocable Living Trust
In order to avoid probate, your assets need to be transferred into the name of the trust, including bank accounts, beneficiary designations, real and personal property. Often a living trust is drafted with a pour-over Will as a last resort to convey any assets that were not transferred during your life into the trust upon your death. However, if the assets pass into the trust through the Will then they must go through probate. “Fully funding” your trust does involve some legwork on your part, but it is necessary and well worth the effort for your living trust to save your family the time, fees, and expense of probate. We have seen many trusts not work as intended because the assets were not properly titled to correctly fund the trust.
South Carolina Revocable Living Trust Attorney
Contact our experienced Revocable Living Trust Lawyers and schedule an appointment in our Fort Mill estate planning office to learn how to incorporate a revocable living trust into your estate plan. Protect your assets and loved ones with a living trust!