"Avoid probate and minimize estate taxes with an estate plan that includes a living trust!" These kinds of pitches have appeared across the country in ads promoting all kinds of seminars. The ads typically suggest the attendees will learn:
- The evils of probate and how to avoid them.
How to maintain control over your estate.
How to set up a living trust.
- It allows you and your family to avoid the public scrutiny associated with probate, in which your assets and their disposition are a matter of public record. It creates a single receptacle to receive and distribute all your assets upon your death. It can control, coordinate and distribute all your property interests while you are alive, if you become disabled and on your death. You can also arrange for your well-being under your own terms as you advance in years, become ill or mentally incompetent. It can be changed or amended at any time during your lifetime. There are no adverse lifetime income tax consequences. Continuity of cash flow and investments in your portfolio is not interrupted by your death. Strategies for avoiding estate taxes with a will are also available using a living trust. The living trust itself does not save estate taxes but you can set up tax-saving trusts -- such as credit shelter trusts -- within the structure of a living trust. (See a previous
- The Living Trust by Henry Abts III, (NTC/Contemporary Publishing).