Figuring out the best way to provide for loved ones after death is not always an easy journey for many Pennsylvania residents. When they embark on estate planning, they may find that one way to make sure family members have access to what they need as quickly as possible is through the use of a living trust. The problem is that some people fail to make full use of their trusts by executing them and them putting them away for safekeeping.
The work is not done once a living trust is signed. In order for a trust to be there when needed, it must be funded. This means transferring assets into the trust in order to avoid those particular assets from going through probate upon death, which would allow those who need the support to have access to it much sooner, if not immediately. Otherwise, it is just paper.
In addition to keeping the assets in it from going through probate, a living trust can also help take care of a Pennsylvania resident in the event of an illness or injury that causes incapacitation. The successor trustee can step in and manage the assets in the trust without interruption. This often helps take care of the incapacitated person during an already difficult time.
These may be the advantages that convince many people to execute a living trust. However, without taking care of a few housekeeping issues after the fact, it will not provide those advantages. In order to ensure that everything is done properly and the trust gets funded, it may be a good idea to consult with an estate planning attorney.
Source: Forbes, "7 Big Estate Planning Mistakes - Not Making Full Use Of A Living Trust", Bob Carlson, Feb. 28, 2018