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What Are The Top Benefits Of Setting Up A Living Trust In Georgia?

Posted by Joel Beck | Jun 07, 2024 | 0 Comments

What Are The Top Benefits Of Setting Up A Living Trust In Georgia?

At Peach State Wills & Trusts, we frequently discuss the advantages of setting up a living trust with our clients. As estate planning lawyers in Georgia, we understand that the concept of a living trust can seem complex and overwhelming. However, understanding its benefits can significantly impact how you manage and protect your assets. In this blog post, we will explore the top benefits of establishing a living trust for Georgia residents.

 

Avoiding Probate in Georgia

One of the primary benefits of a living trust is that it allows you're the assets in the trust to bypass the probate process. And, if all of your assets are in the trust or otherwise designed to avoid probate, your estate would not need to be probated.  Probate can be a lengthy and costly court-supervised procedure that involves validating a will, paying off debts, and distributing assets. By setting up a living trust, your bills can be paid and assets can be transferred directly to your beneficiaries without the delays and expenses associated with probate. This not only saves time and money but also ensures a smoother and more efficient distribution of your estate. We find that most family members appreciate plans that have kept their loved one's estate out of the probate process, as it can usually be handled faster, privately, and without the frustrations that arise when settling an estate through probate.  

 

Maintaining Privacy for Your Estate

A significant advantage of a living trust is the privacy it offers. Unlike a will, which becomes part of the public record during probate, a living trust remains private. This means that the details of your estate, including the nature and value of your assets and the identities of your beneficiaries, are not disclosed to the public. This level of confidentiality can be especially important for individuals who wish to keep their financial affairs private.

 

Planning for Incapacity

One of the important functions of a living trust is its provision for managing your assets if you become incapacitated. This aspect of a living trust ensures that your financial matters are handled seamlessly, without the need for court intervention or the appointment of a conservator for assets in the trust. Here's how a living trust can help:

 

  • Designated Successor Trustee: You can appoint a trusted individual as your successor trustee who will manage the trust assets on your behalf if you become incapacitated due to illness or injury.

  • Continuity of Financial Management: The successor trustee can step in immediately to handle your financial affairs, ensuring bills are paid, investments are managed, and other financial responsibilities are maintained without disruption.

  • Avoiding Court Procedures: By setting up a living trust, you can avoid the often lengthy and expensive court processes required to appoint a conservator to manage assets inside a trust.

  • Peace of Mind: Knowing that your finances will be managed according to your wishes provides a sense of security for you and your loved ones.

 

Retaining Control Over Your Assets

Another significant benefit of a living trust is the control it offers over your assets during your lifetime. Unlike some other estate planning tools, a living trust allows you to remain in charge of your assets, giving you the flexibility to make decisions that best suit your changing circumstances. Here are the key points:

 

  • Management and Investment: You have the authority to manage and invest your assets as you see fit, ensuring they are handled according to your preferences.

  • Flexibility to Modify: You can make changes to the trust, such as adding or removing assets, altering beneficiaries, or updating instructions as your financial situation or family dynamics evolve.

  • Revocability: The trust can be revoked or dissolved if you decide it no longer meets your needs, providing an additional layer of flexibility.

  • Adaptability: This control allows you to respond to significant life events, such as marriage, divorce, the birth of a child, or changes in financial status, without the need for complex legal procedures.

 

Protecting Beneficiaries from Poor Financial Decisions and Creditors and Predators

A living trust can also protect beneficiaries who may not be capable of managing large sums of money. This can include beneficiaries who are young, have disabilities, or are prone to poor financial decision-making. The trust allows you to set conditions for the distribution of assets, such as periodic payments or the achievement of certain milestones. This ensures that the assets are used wisely and provides ongoing financial support to your beneficiaries.

Further, although the living trust offers you, as the trust maker, no creditor protection for assets in the trust, after. You have passed away and the trust becomes irrevocable, the trust can be designed to offer your beneficiaries protections from creditors and predators for so long as assets remain in the trust.  This can be an important feature that works to protect assets for your chosen beneficiaries following your death.

 

Tax Planning Opportunities

While a living trust does not provide special tax benefits, it can help with estate tax planning. By setting up a trust, you can take advantage of certain tax planning strategies to minimize estate taxes. This can include making use of the federal estate tax exemption and other deductions. It is important to work with an estate planning attorney to understand how a living trust can be integrated into your overall tax planning strategy.

 

Ease of Modification and Adaptability

Life circumstances change, and a living trust offers the flexibility to make adjustments as needed. Whether it's adding or removing beneficiaries, changing trustees, or altering the terms of asset distribution, a living trust can be easily modified. This adaptability ensures that your estate plan remains relevant and effective, reflecting your current wishes and needs.

 

How Peach State Wills & Trusts Can Help

At Peach State Wills & Trusts, we are dedicated to helping you understand and establish a living trust that meets your needs. Our team will guide you through the process, ensuring that your trust is set up correctly and that your assets are protected. Contact Peach State Wills & Trusts at 678-344-5342 or online to learn how to plan for your future in Georgia today. If you have any questions about estate planning in Georgia, you can download our free guide here, no strings attached. We are committed to providing friendly, professional, and approachable legal services to help you with all your estate planning needs.

About the Author

Joel Beck

Joel Beck founded The Beck Law Firm, LLC in 2007. His firm focused on business law and estate planning needs of clients, two areas that he was drawn to based upon personal and business experiences in his life, including a ten-year career at NASD (now known as FINRA).

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