When you pass away, the court reviews your estate planning documents, including a will and any trust established to determine what happens to your property. If you pass away without a will, the state then determines what happens to your property.
Although you don’t have to use a trust to transfer property to future generations, it’s one way to add more privacy and flexibility to your own estate plan in Virginia.
You can make things much easier for your loved ones and ensure a much higher chance of property distribution by creating a basic will or a will and a living trust. A living trust can reduce estate taxes, help you avoid probate and set up long term property management.
It’s important to realize that property transferred into a living trust before you pass away does not go through probate. Instead, the trustee or the person with fiduciary duty who is appointed to manage the trust and distribute its assets will be responsible for transferring ownership to the beneficiaries named in the trust. Living trusts may allow you to change things over the course of your life but are also more private than a will, which becomes a matter of public record when it’s submitted to probate.
Although it may sound overwhelming, it is much easier to establish a living trust than you expect, particularly when you’re working with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney. An attorney can help you decide if a living trust is an appropriate tool for you to use in addition to your will. Reach out to schedule a consultation today to learn more.