When it comes to estate planning, many people put it off because of the added expense. Especially in uncertain economic times, it can be challenging to recognize the importance of an additional investment like this. However, an uncertain future is the last thing you want for yourself or your loved ones, and a living trust is a great way to protect everybody from both unexpected events and inevitable ones.

Here are just a handful of the many reasons you’ll want to have an updated living trust now and in the future.

1. You want to decide who inherits your assets.

A living trust ensures your wishes are carried out after you die without court intervention. This means no one else will have the opportunity to step in and decide where your money and other assets go, and how it’s spent after you’re gone. This goes for the courts as well as family members who may go against your wishes.

With a will alone, the courts ultimately decide how your estate is distributed, and others can intervene and file objections. With a living trust, you decide how your assets will be distributed and your lawyer writes that into your living trust document.  When you have a living trust, the administration of your trust after you die is a private matter and no court process is required. You will assign a trustee to ensure your wishes are followed as written without confusion and without probate.

2. You want to save your loved ones time and money. 

When you set up a living trust the people you love most won’t have to worry about enduring a lengthy and expensive probate process that can last up to three years and cost as much as 10 to 15 percent of your estate’s overall value.

3. You want to protect and provide for your loved ones with special needs. 

Did you know there is a way to provide much-needed financial support to your loved ones without compromising their eligibility for government programs such as  Supplemental Security Income(SSI) and Medicaid programs? Protecting your loved ones that have special needs with a living trust means you can ensure they get a comfortable and enjoyable life while also having their physical and medical needs met.

4. You want to protect your cryptocurrency assets. 

Theft and fraud of cryptocurrency have been up since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. This means it is more important than ever that you ensure your crypto investments and assets are safe. The IRS considers crypto to be property, and it needs to be protected just as your physical property would be.

5. You want to include your property outside of Georgia. 

Owning property in other states means that, without a living trust, your loved ones will have to go through the probate process in each state where you own property. When you put all of your property into a living trust, you remain in control over that property while ensuring that it is protected.

6. You want to protect yourself if you become incapacitated. 

Most people fund a trust during their lifetime expecting to leave their wealth to others. But if you later become incapacitated, the successor trustee will be able to manage the trust assets for your benefit in the event that you are unable to make decisions for yourself. This goes for all financial and medical-related decisions, so should you suffer an accident or medical injury that leaves you unable to communicate your wishes, they are already clearly addressed in your trust.

If you’d like to explore the benefits of creating a living trust, contact the team at Smith Barid today and learn how you can protect the well-being of yourself and your loved ones well into the future.