WHAT IS A LIVING TRUST?
A Living Trust is a type of trust that a person can establish during life into which all or most of a person’s property is transferred. It is a separate legal entity not unlike a corporation, partnership or limited liability company. By the terms of the trust, it will terminate and transfer the property to the beneficiaries of the trust according to the terms of the trust. The primary goal of a living trust is to avoid probate.
WHAT IS PROBATE?
Probate is the legal process by which property in the name of a deceased person gets transferred to people who are still living. Probate generally take one of two forms, being with a Will and without a Will. Without a Will, state law defines who gets what property and how it is inherited. For example, under state law, a surviving spouse gets a usufruct until death or remarriage over community property but inherits none of the separate property of a deceased spouse. With a Will, the property will go to who and for how long as defined in the Will.
ADVANTAGES OF A LIVING TRUST
Reason No. 1 – Avoid Attorneys Fees at Death
By having a Living Trust, you eliminate the time and expense of probating items at the death of the person who creates the Living Trust. It is important that all assets be placed in the Living Trust.
Reason No. 2 – A Living Trust creates a higher degree of privacy.
In Louisiana a Will is filed in the Courthouse. Also filed with the Courthouse is a list of the assets and liabilities of the deceased. A Living Trust can avoid the publicity of having these assets filed in the Courthouse.
Reason No. 3 – If you are a Louisiana resident and own real estate in another state, you can avoid the probate in that state.
Many clients own real estate in Texas, Mississippi, Alabama or Florida. A Louisiana Probate Court cannot transfer real property to heirs in another state. By having a Living Trust on the out of state real estate, you can avoid the probate of another state.
ADVANTAGES OF USING HOYT & STANFORD
Reason No. 1 – Cost
Living Trusts can be prepared for $1,500 at Hoyt & Stanford. National and regional marketing firms charge several times more than this amount. Since Hoyt & Stanford does not give seminars, send out flyers and mailers, it has a lower cost of operation.
Reason No. 2 – Experience
Having 38 years of experience, being a Board Certified Tax Law Specialist, and having worked for the National Office of Internal Revenue Service, Ted Hoyt is uniquely qualified to prepare Living Trusts and other related documents such as Wills and Powers of Attorney.
If you think a Living Trust can solve some of your estate planning concerns, it is best to get a second opinion and cost estimate to have it prepared by an experienced professional.
At Hoyt & Stanford, we will give a free initial consultation.
Ted is an Attorney & Counselor at Law, and Board Certified Tax Law Specialist. His primary areas of practice are Tax Law & Estate Planning and is located in Lafayette, LA