To understand How does Living Trust help in avoiding Probate and Conservatorship, we need to understand what is Probate and what is Conservatorship.
What is a Probate
Probate is a formal Legal process, more specifically, a Judicial process whereby the Will of a person who has died is recognized by a court of law. Executors or Personal representatives are then appointed by the court to distribute the property/assets among the beneficiaries. Everything is done here under the supervision of the Court of Law and this process requires a lot of patience, time, and money.
This involves organizing the money, assets, and possessions of the dead person and after paying any taxes and debts, they are distributed as per the instructions in the Will.
What is a Conservatorship?
Conservatorship is a legal arrangement where the probate court appoints a person to look after the financial and/or daily affairs of another person. The person under conservatorship is known as a “Conservatee”.
Conservatorship is somewhat similar to Guardianship the difference is that a guardian takes care of the personal needs of a person while a conservator takes care of the financial needs.
Conservatorship is also known as “Adult guardianship” in some states.
There might be several reasons why a court appoints a conservator. For example, if a person is suffering from any of the following;
- Dementia or Alzheimer's disease
- Brain injury
- Any other mental or physical disability(newly developed or lifelong)
How does Living Trust help in avoiding Probate and Conservatorship?
Once you put your assets into a Trust, those assets are named and owned by the Trust itself and after you die, those assets do not become a part of your Estate and therefore do not go through the Probate Process.
The Successor Trustee appointed in your Trust will look after the administration and management of your trust assets and will pay for your care and treatment in case you are incapacitated. Therefore there is no need for the court to appoint a Conservator.
All you need to do is get your trust document ready, sign it, fund it, and there you go. Your Living Trust is ready which will avoid Probate and Conservatorship.