When you are going through the estate planning process, it can be quite tempting to try a one-size-fits-all approach. However, everyone has different situations and needs that pertain to their own estate. Just because someone you know has set up a living trust doesn’t necessarily mean that you need one as well. In some cases, a will is a better document to use. Here are three scenarios that may cause you to make a different decision when it comes to setting up a living trust.
First, you need to consider your age. If you are under age 55 and pretty healthy, it may not be necessary to set up a living trust. This is because it might not be beneficial during your lifetime. Someone who is young and healthy probably won’t need to worry about the probate process and costs for a long time to come. However, having a last will and testament is an important thing no matter what your age. As you get older, your estate planning attorney might recommend a living trust.
Your marital status also makes a difference in whether or not you choose to do a living trust. Because most couples leave their property to each other, probate wouldn’t be necessary in these situations. If the property is not owned jointly, you could hit a snag but most probate procedures will allow for the surviving spouse to get the property pretty quickly.
Finally, another consideration would be the size of your estate. If your estate is large, you have more assets that would be at risk in the probate process. If you own a business or lots of assets, it makes good sense to have a living trust. However, if you are young, healthy and don’t have a lot of assets yet, you may not need a trust. As with anything, consult a qualified estate planning attorney to find out about your own situation.