Benefits to naming trustees instead of just powers of attorney

Revocable living trusts are one of the many things which may come up during estate planning. British Columbia residents who undergo the process to create a living trust should understand how to make the best use of it. This includes naming the right trustees and understanding how to use the living trust to save on estate administration.

One of the main reasons people choose to create a living trust and name trustees is to avoid probate. Once a person with a trust passes away, the trust is handed off to the successor trustee who can sometimes pass by certain processes that a will would make necessary. This not only can save British Columbia beneficiaries financially, but can also preserve an estate planner's privacy. This is because unlike a will, the terms of a trust as well as the assets within that trust are not matters of public record.

Should the original owner of a living trust become disabled, the successor trustee can be recognized by custodians of the assets and take over management. This can sometimes be an easier process than relying on power of attorney. However, these advantages only function if the person leaving the living trust properly transfers legal title of the trust and puts assets under it.

Sometimes, British Columbia estate planners may create a revocable living trust but neglect to use it. Transferring legal title of assets and naming trustees can be extra steps, but they can pay off in the end. Working with a local estate lawyer can help make this process easier and more legally sound.

Source: Forbes, "7 Big Estate Planning Mistakes - Not Making Full Use Of A Living Trust", Bob Carlson, Feb. 28, 2018

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