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Small Estates Can Benefit from Living Trusts

MP900382633Many people think that if they do not have very many assets, then they cannot benefit from getting a living trust.  However, they are often wrong.

One of the problems with learning about estate planning on the Internet is that many things are often written generally. Many articles that discuss the benefits of various estate planning tools are not written with individual state laws in mind.

You might read on the Internet that probate can be expensive, so it is best to avoid it by creating a living trust. However, if you do not have a large or complicated estate, then there is not much benefit to paying more for a trust. Your estate will be fine, if it goes through probate.

In general, there is nothing wrong with that advice.

It is often true. It depends on the state in which you live and what is meant by having a large or complex estate.

The Los Angeles Times recently discussed this in “Why setting up a living trust may be wise, especially in California.”

The probate process is very different, depending on your state of residency.

In some states, it is very expensive and time-consuming. In other states, probate is generally inexpensive and painless for estates under a certain size.  However, that particular size varies between states.

Advice about whether you should get a living trust to avoid probate may be good advice in California but less so in Michigan.

To make sure you get the best advice, you should visit an estate planning attorney in your state who can give you advice based on the expected size of your estate and your state’s probate laws.

Reference: Los Angeles Times (Jan. 7, 2018) “Why setting up a living trust may be wise, especially in California.”