Some families believe that a simple will can handle the financial and other issues that occur when you die. However, that may only sometimes be the case.

One of the main advantages of a living trust (and trusts in general) is that they prevent your family from going through the lengthy, costly probate process at the time of your death.

Also, a living trust will allow most of the details of your estate and who inherits from you to remain private. A trust keeps most all the details confidential, and a will (due to court probate, etc.) will not. Any trust in Massachusetts is a private document that handles your estate without court or public knowledge and possible intervention.

Essentially, a Massachusetts living trust allows you to retain all your assets in a trust during your life but still have complete control of their distribution after death. A living trust is an estate planning option that can offer various benefits according to the exact details of your estate and plans for its distribution after your death.

For example, a  will won’t help you during your lifetime. Yes, it still will provide the peace of mind of knowing that your loved ones will receive your intended inheritance, but only by going through probate proceedings in a Massachusetts court.

On the other hand, a trust manager can step in to manage your financial matters if you become incapacitated or die.

Suppose you are severely injured in a car accident and cannot pay your bills, run your business, care for your investments, or any other financial matters. The person you appoint in your trust document is empowered to act on your behalf to keep your life’s economic (and other aspects) going for a limited time or if you die.

A living trust still gives you complete control of your life and assets while you are alive and capable, but accidents happen every day. If you’re incapacitated, the trust will ensure the well-being of your business, family, and financial matters.

What Else Can a Living Trust For Me and My Family?

Even if your “estate” may seem relatively small for a trust, when you and your Worcester estate planning lawyer go into the details, you might be amazed at how valuable it will become.

Just some of the myriad things that can be effectively managed in a trust are:

  • A trust will help you if you become incapacitated – A Massachusetts trust (or the manager you appoint) will step and manage your financial matters if you become incapacitated due to illness, accident, etc., nothing will go “haywire,” and your family’s life can continue per your directives.
  • A trust gives you, and your assets, privacy – When you die, your will gets filed with the court and then becomes “public record.” Most people today prefer that the details of who inherits from you remain private, and a trust will accomplish that end.
  • A living trust will avoid “probate” – Even with a  will, your family will have to go through probate, and the court will have to oversee the payment of estate expenses, creditor claims, and all the distribution of assets to your various beneficiaries. A trust avoids probate altogether.
  • A trust will ensure the care of your minor children per your wishes – Money is not the only consideration if you become incapacitated or die. If you have young children, a trust is the best way to protect your assets for their benefit. For example, you can spread the distribution over the years, link the payments to specific life events, and much more.
  • A living trust can effectively take care of “special situations” – For example, trusts provide additional and detailed protection if you have a child with special needs. All special situations can be thoroughly thought out and addressed the way you wish.

What Types of Trust Are There in Massachusetts?

Just like there are many different estates and issues they have, there are different types of trusts to deal with these contingencies.

The main types of trusts are:

  • A Revocable Trust –  This popular trust in Massachusetts, known as the “revocable” trust, you can revoke (or modify) at any time if needed.
  • An Irrevocable Trust – A typical trust, but once formed, is more difficult to change or revoke.
  • Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust – This may contain contingencies for any life insurance proceeds, etc.
  • Charitable Trusts – Concerning giving all or parts of your estate to charities.
  • Special Needs Trust –  If you have a “special needs” child or loved one, this trust is designed to accommodate all their needs if you become incapacitated or die.

All estates differ, and if you’re considering a living trust (or any kind), you should consult with your professional, empathetic, and knowledgeable Worcester estate planning lawyer so all the specifics of your particular financial and family situation can be professionally addressed.

What Types of Assets Would I Put in a Massachusetts Living Trust?

There are many reasons to create a living trust, but avoiding the costly, stressful, and complex Massachusetts probate process is paramount.

Also, the value of assets is another consideration, and some usual items placed in a living trust are:  

  • Family homes and other real estate.
  • Stocks, bonds, and other security accounts.
  • Small businesses or stock in a closely held corporation, partnership interests, or limited liability company shares.
  • Patents and copyrights.
  • Precious metals you may hold, such as silver or gold.
  • Significant and valuable works of art, furniture, or antiques.
  • Valuable collections of stamps, coins, or any type.

This list varies enormously, and the advice and professional guidance of your Massachusetts estate planning lawyer will be invaluable in this part of the process.

I Need To Form a Living Trust; How Should I Proceed?

Forming a living trust in Massachusetts may seem simple (and sometimes is), but this is only sometimes the case, and professional help is mandatory.

Remember that if you are incapacitated, or die, your assets, business, financial matters, and your family’s future may all be at stake.  The advice and guidance of a professional experienced Worcester estate planning law firm will be invaluable in drafting this valuable tool and helping you to secure your future wishes and protect your family.

Even if you are simply considering this option, consult with them first and get the professional advice you need to make the most of this valuable legal tool known as the living trust.