What Is a Living Trust?
A “living trust” is simply a trust someone creates while alive, instead of one that is made at someone’s death under the terms of their will. The trust is set up by the grantor, who is the individual that places the assets in a trust. The assets in the trust are managed for the settlor’s benefit while he or she is alive.
A trustee must also be named; however, most people name themselves for complete control. Furthermore, the trustee needs to name a successor trustee, who takes over the trust after the trustee’s death. The successor is then in charge of protecting and managing trust assets and eventually dispersing them to the beneficiaries.
The following are the proper steps to make a living trust:
- Create a trust document, stating who will inherit trust property and naming you as trustee
- Sign the document in front of a notary public
- Transfer your property to your name as trustee
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Do Living Trust Assets Have to Go Through Probate?
The main benefit of making a living trust is saving your family from the delay and expense of probate court proceedings after your death. Texas does not adhere to the Uniform Probate Code, which simplifies the process of probate, so it may be wise for you to establish a living trust to avoid the state’s complicated probate process.
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