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Wills and Revocable Living Trusts

A will is a document that provides written instructions regarding who receives your property at death. When you die, a will has to go through a process called probate, a court proceeding that is time consuming and expensive.

A trust is similar to a will in that it is a document of instructions about who receives your property at death. A trust, however, does not have to go through probate. Thus, a trust can save your loved ones a lot of time and money after you die.

In the simplest sense, a revocable living trust is just a will that avoids probate.

Why do you need a revocable living trust?

There is a considerable amount of confusion concerning why you may need a revocable living trust. Unfortunately, some of this confusion is created by attorneys. You may have heard that unless you have a trust, the government will take your estate. Or you may have heard your assets won’t be protected from creditors. Trusts can be used in some very specific situations for such protections, but these circumstances are rare. Usually, you don’t need a trust for these reasons.

The simple reason that most people need a revocable living trust is to avoid probate – a court proceeding that is time consuming and expensive for your loved ones after you die.

Probate is required whether a person dies with or without a will. The purpose of probate, in and of itself, is perfectly legitimate. The court essentially wants to make certain that property is distributed according to the will and to assure that creditors get paid. However, the process of probate is not easy or inexpensive. It takes approximately one year to complete and costs an average of $2,500 to $5,000.

How I can help you

I have been preparing wills and trusts in Michigan for more than 30 years. I can help you properly prepare a revocable living trust so that your loved ones can avoid the hassle and cost of probate after your death.

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