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How to use a living trust to the fullest

Ohio residents and others may make use of a living trust as part of an estate plan. A living trust allows individuals and married couples to retain control of assets while keeping them outside of an estate. By keeping assets outside of an estate, it allows that property to avoid probate. Instead, a successor trustee will assume management of the trust in accordance with how it is written.

Successor trustees may also oversee a trust if an individual becomes incapacitated. Finally, a living trust may be advantageous because its terms are not a matter of public record. However, for the trust to be effective, it must be given ownership of assets. This means that the deed to a home may need to be changed or that the title of a vehicle or other assets will need to be updated.

If the trust is not the owner of an asset, it has no control over that asset. This means that it won't avoid probate or be distributed in accordance with the trust's terms. Another consequence is that your successor trustee cannot take action if necessary. Even if a trust is properly funded, it is important to find a successor trustee as soon as possible. This may allow that person to better understand a person's wishes and how to carry them out.

Those who are looking to avoid probate and preserve their privacy may wish to create a trust. An attorney may be able to help a person create a trust or review one that has already been created. Regularly reviewing a trust after it has been created may help to ensure that it has been properly funded. Otherwise, the trust's terms may be considered invalid, which may make it harder for a person's wishes to be met.

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