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A trust can protect your assets from costly probate

A well-drafted will is a foundational estate planning document. Every estate owner should have a will. However, a will does not offer the full range of options for protecting your assets from the costly and time-consuming probate process. If your goal is to keep your assets and your loved ones out of probate, then creating a trust is a good decision.

A trust (of which there are many different kinds) is not subject to the oversight of the probate court. A trust is a private instrument with terms and conditions that you can decide with the help of an estate planning lawyer. Once you've chosen the right kind of trust for your specific situation, you can carefully detail how and when assets should be distributed to trust beneficiaries.

You can also ensure that your property doesn't get caught up in probate by specifying in your will that your assets should be transferred to the trust. In any case, it is important to make certain that your trust and your will correspond to your wishes.

If a major life changes occurs -- for example, divorce or the birth of a child -- your estate planning documents should be updated to reflect the change. Depending on your specific circumstances, you may need to update trust beneficiary designations, as well as beneficiary designations for life insurance policies and retirement accounts.

In short, a trust can be a very useful estate planning tool for protecting and effectively distributing assets, both to others and to yourself. Will and trust attorneys at Landrum & Shouse LLP help clients in Lexington and throughout Kentucky understand the differences between the various kinds of trusts and how they can be used. 

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