Living Trust
How to avoid probate using Living Trust?

How to avoid probate using Living Trust?


Jennifer Mcgee


Updated on  

March 17, 2023

8 Mins


Living Trust has become very popular these days as compared to other documents of Estate Planning due to a number of benefits that can be availed by creating a Living Trust. One such benefit is the avoidance of Probate using a Living Trust.

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.

Now the next question which may come to your mind is “How long does the Probate take?” It depends upon a number of factors. For example, how large and complicated your estate is. Generally, the probate takes around a few months to a few years.

If you have a Will, your Executor will not readily have the authority to administer or distribute your estate among your beneficiaries, your executor will first need to apply in the court to start the probate process. Once the process is completed, then only the Executor will have the right to distribute your estate as per your wishes specified in the Will. 

If you don't have a Will, your Probate Process will take much longer than usual.

How to avoid probate using Living Trust?

One of the main benefits of a living trust is that its assets don’t have to go through probate. 

If you create a Living Trust, your estate will be transferred to your beneficiaries soon after your death without any involvement of the Court. 

Your Successor Trustee will make the distribution as per your wishes by transferring the ownership of the Trust property to your beneficiaries. 

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.

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 the Probate.

Other benefits of a Living Trust

1. Protects your privacy

Unlike Wills, Trusts are private documents. Since there is no intervention of courts in assets distribution, the Trust document is not made a Public record. No one can ever find out more about your distribution of assets by searching public records. 

2. Protection of Minor Children           

 If you have minor children, you might not want them to get ownership of your estate at a small age. You may include it in your trust that you want your minors to receive the property after attaining a specific age. For eg. at the age of 25 or 30 years. 

3. Ensure the Privacy of your Document

Since Living Trusts avoid probate, they do not become public records like Wills. No one will have the access to your Trust at any stage to know about your distribution. 

4. Protects you in case of Illness or Incapacity 

Apart from specifying the distribution of your assets/property after your death, may also include the steps to be taken care of in case of any unanticipated situation like illness or unconsciousness of yours when you are not able to communicate your wishes.

5. Avoid Conservatorship with Living Trusts 

Conservatorship is the appointment of an agent by the court to oversee the financial management of a person after death or in case of Incapacitation (Incapacitation includes mental illness, physical illness, disability, or addiction to drugs or alcohol).

If you are creating a revocable trust, you can avoid conservatorship and your successor trustee will be the person handling and managing everything in your trust on your behalf.

Do I need a Lawyer to create a Living Trust?

It is completely your call whether you want a Lawyer or not. There are many online sources which are providing a valid legal trust document that you can just download, fill, sign, and notarize, and your Trust document will be ready. Even if you want any Legal advice on a particular issue, that can also be availed online by the Estate Planning Attorneys provided by these online sources. TrulyWill is one such website. 

With TrulyWill, you can create a Trust online, which is comprehensive, state-specific, and legally valid no matter how small or large your estate is. 

Follow 3 simple steps and get your Trust made as per your requirement. 

  1. Sign in.
  2. Answer a few simple questions. 
  3. Your Trust is ready to download.

You can also use TrulyWill’s Attorney Assist feature and connect with an attorney if you want any legal advice.

The traditional method of visiting the Attorneys personally and getting your documents ready is also appreciated if you have the following:

  • You have a Large Estate
  • You have a complex financial or personal Life.
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Frequently Asked Questions

How long does a Probate take?

Probate usually takes around a few months to a few years depending upon your circumstances like whether you have a Will or not. Whether your Estate is small or large, etc.

Do Living Trusts avoid Probate?

Yes. Living Trusts avoid Probate. There is no intervention of courts in the process of distribution of assets among the beneficiaries.

Do I need an attorney for Probate?

It is not necessary to have an Attorney but it is always advised to have one to keep a check on how things are going during the Probate.

My estate would still go to Probate If I don't have a Last Will?

Yes. Your Estate will still go through the Probate and it will take longer than usual to complete the probate process in the absence of a Last Will.

How much does an Attorney cost to create a Living Trust?

Depending on your requirements and your location, an Estate Planning Attorney will cost you around $1000 to $1500 for preparing your Trust documents. You can also use TrulyWill’s platform to create your Trust in a few minutes at an affordable rate.
Jennifer Mcgee
Parent to five young children. Estate Planning, Probate, and Family Law Attorney. Volunteer with Victim’s Advocates in the local sheriff's department...
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Jennifer Mcgree
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