Generally, Ohio law provides that any possessions, financial assets or real estate not incorporated into a trust or listing a valid beneficiary are subject to the laws of intestate succession. This means that the State of Ohio will choose your beneficiaries for you based on a default order of priority.
Creating a Last Will and Testament allows you to supersede Ohio’s default rules and choose who receives your assets. However, if all you do is draft a will then you are still guaranteeing your estate goes through probate court. That’s why creating a living trust in Dayton is so important to those who want to pass what they have to who they want, when they want, with the least amount of time and money spent.
Will vs. Living Trusts: What’s the Difference?
The terms of a person’s will go into effect upon a person’s death. A will allows you to choose who administers your estate and directs the disposition of your assets upon death. A will can also be used to name guardians for minor children. A revocable living trust, sometimes called simply a “living trust”, is very similar in that it also directs the distribution of your estate at your death.
One big difference with a living trust is that it also provides direction for the management of your affairs if you become incapacitated. Most assets (except a few special types) are be placed into the name of your trust during your lifetime. The trust assets are under the control of a person or persons known as a trustee. Oftentimes, when doing an estate plan for a married couple, the Trustee would be the husband and wife together. If one person becomes incapacitated or passes away the other can manage the trust. If both become incapacitated or pass away you will have named a successor trustee to manage your affairs during incapacity or distribute your trust estate at death. Your living trust is then administered according to the guidelines you have laid out.
When you are the trustee of your living trust you can add to it, take funds out and even change the terms at any time.
Another difference between a will and a trust is that assets placed into a living trust prior to your death pass outside of probate, a court does not oversee the process, which can save time and money.
Do I Also Need to Create a Will?
We will always draft a will to coincide with your trust, oftentimes referring to it as a pour-over will. The will functions as a back-up. If you gain new financial assets or property after you have signed and initially funded your living trust, it is important that the newly acquired assets be appropriately registered or list the appropriate beneficiaries. If, through inadvertence or otherwise, property is left out of your trust at the time of your death the pour-over will instructs the probate court to “pour” the assets into your trust. This ensures the entirety of your estate is administered according to your wishes as laid out in your living trust.
The Benefits of a Living Trust
There a many benefits to forming a living trust in Dayton. Privacy is one of them. The terms of your will and an accounting of all your assets are often made public after your death. In Dayton one can simply view them on the probate court’s website. With a living trust the identity of the beneficiaries, the details of their inheritance, and other terms of a living trust are not public records.
Creating a living trust is also a good way to lower costs. While there are also fees for the administration of a living trust, your estate will not be subject to probate court fees and the administration most often results in a lower legal bill. If appropriate, a living trust can also be used to defer or reduce federal estate taxes. Ohio does not currently have its own estate tax.
Finally, creating a living trust in Dayton is a faster way to transfer your assets to any beneficiaries. A trustee can begin the distribution process at the moment of the grantor’s death because there is no need to have a court appoint an executor or need to admit the trust into probate court.
Wiggins and Hall is Here for You
The attorneys at Wiggins and Hall are experience counselors at setting up living trusts in Dayton. They will take the time to listen to your hopes, fears and goals and can help make this process as easy and as fast as possible. Call (888) 474-0703 today to secure your legacy!