The use of a living trust in estate planning

Some Oklahoma residents may be concerned about how their assets will be distributed to their heirs after they pass away. In order to ease the process, some may look into creating a living trust that suits their needs. Although not necessarily the tax haven some consider them to be, living trusts can nevertheless allow someone to exercise greater control over their asset portfolio both during and after the course of their lifetime.

One of the primary advantages of having a living trust is that it helps to ensure a smooth transition of assets. Since heirs take indirect ownership of assets through the trust in which they are contained, there is no need to lose time shifting accounts or retitling assets. In addition, living trusts do not require probate proceedings, which means that heirs may gain access to their assets much faster than could otherwise be the case.

To determine whether a living trust may be worth pursuing, people may wish to consider the complexity of both their asset portfolio and their plans for its posthumous distribution. Moreover, someone that lives in a state with particularly severe probate laws may wish to give serious consideration to a living trust in order to avoid difficulty down the road.

Since these and other questions related to living trusts can be difficult to answer on one's own, it may be worthwhile to consult them in more detail with an estate planning attorney. If the decision is made to do so, the attorney can assist in drafting the necessary documentation and planning for the eventual distribution of the assets contained in the trust.

Source: The Motley Fool, "The Truth About Living Trusts", Dayana Yochim , October 07, 2014

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