For many families, the probate process is often difficult as they process their grief and follow their loved one's final wishes. Some individuals might be concerned about helping their loved ones through the probate process after they pass and will set up their estates with trusts and other estate planning tools.
What is a Trust?
A trust is a legal arrangement where one person, called the grantor, transfers property to another person (the trustee) to hold and manage for the benefit of a third party (the beneficiary). There are two types of trusts, irrevocable and revocable. Irrevocable trusts cannot be changed once they are created, while a revocable trust can be modified or dissolved by the grantor during their lifetime.
Are Trusts Involved in the Probate Process?
In most cases, trusts do not have to go through probate because the assets in the trust are already assigned to a beneficiary. The trustee is responsible for distributing those assets according to the instructions in the trust document.
But there are rare cases when a trust may have to go through probate. This typically happens if the trust was not properly set up or if there are challenges to the validity of the trust. Working with an experienced estate planning attorney ensures that your trust is properly set up and avoids probate.
Why Do Trusts Avoid Probate?
A trust is not subject to probate because the assets in the trust have already been transferred to the trustee to manage for the benefit of the beneficiary. This means that the probate court does not need to get involved in distributing the assets as they have already been distributed according to the trust agreement.
When Can a Trust Go Through Probate?
In rare cases, a trust may be subject to probate if it is found to be invalid or not properly created. Working with an experienced estate planning attorney is important to ensure that your trust is properly created and will avoid probate.
How Can An Attorney Help?
At The Law Offices of Mark S. Knutson, S.C., our attorneys have extensive experience in probate and estate planning. We can help you set up a trust that avoids probate and ensures your wishes are carried out after your death. Contact us today to learn more about our probate and estate planning services.
Are you beginning the estate planning process? Schedule an appointment with our estate planning and probate attorney today by calling our firm at (262) 205-0705 to learn more about how you can prepare your last wishes.