Have you ever wondered what happens to your property after you pass away? A will is a legally enforceable document that expresses your wishes regarding the distribution of your property. But, is a simple will enough? The answer is, it depends.
A will is a cost-effective way to distribute your assets, but it does not offer much flexibility. In contrast, a living trust provides more control over your estate rights and is a better option if you own real estate and have assets. However, the initial costs are higher in the case of a living trust.
Probate is the legal process through which a court determines how to distribute a person’s assets after their death. In California, if you have $20,000 in real estate or $125,000 in assets, you are set to go to probate. Probate is not only expensive but also a lengthy process that can take up to one or two years or more, and the attorney and court fees can eat up a significant portion of your estate, leaving less for your beneficiaries.
To avoid this complex probate process and ensure your loved ones receive their rightful inheritance, a living trust is the smarter choice. Living trusts have been around since the middle ages and offer many benefits over a simple will. They provide more control and flexibility over your assets, offer privacy, and are generally less expensive than probate.
In my book, “Ready for PREtirement, 3 Secrets for Safe Money and a Fabulous Future,” I talk about the importance of estate planning and how a living trust can help protect your assets and ensure your beneficiaries receive their inheritance without the hassle and expense of probate.
So, whether you have a simple will or are considering a living trust, it’s never too early to start thinking about estate planning. By taking the necessary steps now, you can ensure your assets are protected and your loved ones are taken care of after you’re gone. Start planning today, and read “Ready for PREtirement” to learn the secrets of a safe and secure future!
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