Do living trusts avoid probate?

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Updated: 4/13/2007 3:35 pm
A living trust may partially substitute for a will and as such, the use of a living trust can avoid probate for all assets placed into the trust. This assumes that all the beneficiaries named in the trust are still living. Not having a living beneficiary in regard to a trust is usually not a problem, since most trusts are written with provisions to include the second and third generations of the person establishing the trust. Not all assets are suitable for inclusion in a living trust, however. Liquid investments such as mutual funds, stocks, and bonds, are the more reasonable of your assets to place into a living trust. Other tangible items such as cars, jewelry, and household goods require continual record keeping, since these items are frequently sold, abandoned, or lost, therefore making it difficult to include them in a trust. Although a living trust can help you avoid probate, a will is still the primary document you'll need to cover all those solely owned assets not included in the trust.

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