George M. Prescott, Attorney at Law

George M. Prescott, Attorney at Law

300 Front Street, Lincoln, RI 02865

(401) 726-5577

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George M. Prescott, Attorney at Law Legal Advertisement The Benefits Of Utilizing A Living Trust In Estate Planning Regardless Of The Size Of Your Estate An estate plan provides for the management of a persons assets during their lifetime and the disposition of those assets after death. Most estate plans consist of a will and/or trust. A will is a legal document which indicates how a persons estate is to be distributed after their death. The person executing the will (the testator) may provide for equal or unequal division of their property amongst their heirs or anyone else they choose. Without a properly drawn and executed will, the persons estate would pass to their heirs. Most often this is not what a testator desires. All wills must be approved and allowed after the testators death by the Probate Court for the city or town where they resided. A trust is a legal relationship in which one or more persons (the grantor or settlor) transfer assets to an individual or institution (the trustee) for the benefit of certain persons or institutions (the beneficiaries). Rhode Island law permits the same person(s) to be the settlor(s), trustee(s) and beneficiary/ beneficiaries at the same time. This allows a single person or couple to utilize a trust as the center of an estate plan while retaining complete control over their assets during the remainder of their lifetimes. Trusts can reduce tax liability; provide flexibility to achieve non-tax objectives such as prudent management of estate property; expeditious and confidential transfer of assets upon death; and protection of your assets from the claims of creditors. A living trust can provide for whose benefit your assets are used during your lifetime and to whom they are distributed after your Courtesy of: death. This provides continuity of control and immediate access to assets, without the expense and delay of probate. A living trust will eliminate the need for a guardian of your estate if you become incapacitated. Unlike a will, a living trust does not have to be approved by a probate court. This practically eliminates the possibility your estate plan will be contested by an unhappy child or other heir. Avoidance of probate also results in a substantial savings in both time and money to your estate. All expenses of probate are eliminated by the use of a living trust to control and direct the disposition of your assets after your death. The expenses include the probate inventory tax, probate court filing fees and advertising costs, and attorneys fees. The cost to use a living trust as the center of your estate plan is less than the cost of probating a single will. In addition, the delay involved in the probate of a will is also eliminated. A living trust continues uninterrupted after death. The appointment of a successor trustee is provided for in the living trust itself. Since the trust does not need to be approved by a probate court, the delay of at least nine (9) months experienced in probating a will, before assets can be distributed or used for the benefit of survivors, is avoided. Everyone should consider an estate plan to properly manage assets during their lifetime and control their distribution after death. In many cases, such an estate plan should be centered around a living trust to avoid the expense and delay of probate. A trust can provide many benefits regardless of the size of your estate. George M. Prescott ATTORNEY AT LAW 300 Front Street, Lincoln, Rhode Island, 02865-0089 (401) 726-5577 The Rhode Island Supreme Court licenses all lawyers in the general practice of law. The Court does not license or certify any lawyer as an expert or specialist in any field of practice.