Does a living trust protect me and my family?

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Updated: 4/13/2007 3:35 pm
A living trust should not be confused with a living will. A living will pertains to health matters. A living trust, on the other hand, is designed to protect your and your family's assets from high taxes, probate, probate expenses, public inspection, and prolonged disbursement of funds. A living trust can be set up, managed, changed, or revoked while you are alive. It can exist for as long as you wish, beginning and ending on the day you specify. It can partially substitute for a will by transferring assets to designated beneficiaries according to the terms in the trust. Having a living trust can protect your assets from being spent too quickly, or recklessly, by an immature or foolish heir, by providing a set age at which the heir receives the inheritance. Or, it can even specify that only portions of the proceeds are given to the heir over time, essentially doling out the inheritance in the form of periodic, annual, or monthly payments. A trust is more expensive to draw up than a will, but if you have a sizable or growing estate, and heirs to pass it on to, you may want to consider the living trust as a viable way to protect your family's assets.

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