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Posted by: Maricopa Lawyers on Sep 12, 2016

Just about everyone understands the importance of having a will to distribute your assets after your death, but not everyone knows the benefits of having a living trust. Should you be planning a trust?

What is a trust?

accountant-1238598_640A trust is a written legal document where your assets are placed into a trust for your benefit during your lifetime and then transferred to the beneficiaries that you chose. This is different than a will because it transfers your assets during your lifetime, rather than after your death.

Why you should have a trust under Arizona state law

There are three main reasons you might want to consider planning a trust:

1. If you have a trust you can avoid probate

One of the main benefits of a trust is that you can avoid probate. Estates go through probate with wills, which is the court proceedings where your assets are distributed by the executor. Probates can sometimes last months or even years and can be a hassle on family members. With a living trust your assets with be distributed much quicker.

2. A trust can save you money

Although planning a trust may cost you more money than writing a will, it may save you money in the end. With a trust you can transfer your assets such as bank accounts, stocks, and bond accounts and certificates to the trust, rather than just writing it out. A trust can save you money by saving the money you would have to pay the court to go through probate with a will. A trust can also save your estate from being contested and will help you avoid court costs for that matter. Living trusts can also provide savings for married couples in the form of joint living trusts.

3. A trust gives you privacy

The level of privacy is probably the biggest difference between a trust and a will. A trust will not be made public record like a will is. Trusts are distributed in private to only those involved.