It is important for people to make sure they have a plan in place to have their assets distributed according to their wishes in the event of their death. Ohio homeowners may want to consider placing the home in a living trust.
Assets that are placed in a living trust are used by the owner of the trust while he or she is still alive. They are transferred to the beneficiaries of the trust upon the owner's death or after he or she becomes disabled.
A will is similar to a living trust in that it is a legal document that specifies how an individual's assets are to be allocated upon his or her death. However, when the individual dies, the estate will go into probate, a lengthy, public and costly process during which the court monitors the distribution of the assets of deceased individual. There is also an executor who is tasked with performing certain duties for the deceased individual's estate, such as paying bills. The probate process can take up to a year to be completed and involves a large amount of paperwork.
Using a living trust instead of a will allows an individual to complete any necessary paperwork in advance and eliminate the need for any assets to undergo probate. Assets in living trusts can be distributed in weeks rather than months after the individual's death. Also, since the living trust is not required to be supervised by the court, the contents of the living trust will remain private.
Living trusts are estate planning that people can use to ensure that their most valuable assets are distributed to according to their wishes. An attorney can provide further guidance as to how they work.