A living trust and a will both allow a grantor to distribute property when he dies, but an individual cannot use a will to distribute money if he becomes disabled. In addition, a revocable living trust allows a grantor to distribute benefits on a regular basis while still alive so that he can manage his estate as he reaches the end of his life. With this type of trust, a grantor can change the beneficiaries of the trust at any time for any reason as long as he remains mentally competent. A trustee does not need court approval to distribute assests upon the grantor's death or disability.
Planning now can help you avoid losing your house and emptying your bank account in the event of a disabling illness or sudden death. Planning now also will help in the smooth transfer of your estate to the special people in your life.
Estate planning involves more than writing a Last Will and Testament. Many consider transferring ownership of assets to a "Living Trust," which they or a designated trustee control during the person's lifetime. A "Living Trust" is different from a "Living Will," which expresses your wishes about being kept alive if you' become terminally ill or seriously injured.
Since the approach taken will depend on your personal situation, we suggest that you consult with your accountant, your lawyer or other appropriate expert in financial and estate planning. Be wary of "free" estate planning seminars whose business is to sell legal and financial services even if your personal situation does not justify it.
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