learn about living trusts


HALT has created a free, 9-page, online guide Living Trusts: A Primer to help you decide whether a living trust is a good fit in your estate planning.  Property placed in a living trust passes directly to your beneficiaries without first having to go through probate. “This brochure explains how trusts work, describes different kinds of trusts and mentions things you should keep in mind when considering whether to create a trust for your assets.”

The topics covered include:

  • What is a living trust?
  • Should I create a trust?
  • What are the major benefits of a revocable living trust?
  • Will a living trust reduce taxes?
  • What information is included in a living trust?
  • How do I put my assets into a trust?
  • How will my assets be distributed?
  • Does a trust shield my assets from creditors?
  • What are special-purpose trusts?
  • How can I create a living trust?
  • Does a living trust cover all my estate planning needs?  

tinyRedCheck Note: The HALT brochure gives an appropriate warning about “Living Trust Mills” and Scams:

“While living trusts are great estate planning tools, they’re not for everyone.Take your time making your decision and base it on information you get from a reputable source such as one of the do-it-yourself living trust products recommended by HALT, a financial advisor, or an estate planning attorney. If you have been a victim of a living trust scam or someone is pressuring you to purchase a trust, contact your state or local consumer protection office, a local office of the Better Business Bureau, or the Federal Trade Commission at 877-FTC-HELP. 

You can learn more about Living Trusts at Nolo.com, where you’ll find a Living Trust FAQ, and information on how and why to avoid probate.  

p.s.  You may not need a living trust, but everyone needs a Living Will — to make your end-of-life care wishes known in writing.  Even if you aren’t the “New-Year’s-Resolution-type” of person, shlep urges you to resolve to create (or, if needed, amend) a Living Will and Health Care Proxy before Valentine’s Day, for your own peace of mind and that of your loved ones.  To make it easy, HALT has brought together links to forms for every state.

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