A living trust is a legal arrangement that merges your property and assets into one sheltered entity. When a person wants to establish a living trust, they become the grantor or owner. If you are the grantor, you can protect and control your assets while you are alive by naming yourself the trustee.
Creating a living trust can also help your family avoid probate. That is why it is so important to assign a successor trustee. When you are gone, the successor trustee will manage and distribute your assets to the beneficiaries indicated in your trust.
What items can you include in a living trust?
You can continue to profit and make financial developments with the assets you put into your living trust. Make an inventory of all your assets to determine how you would like to establish the trust portfolio.
The trust can include the items listed below:
- Real estate and tangible personal property
- Investments and cryptocurrencies with no beneficiaries (Examples: mutual funds, stocks, bonds, fixed monetary instruments and exchange-traded funds)
- Bank accounts (Examples: savings account, checking account, money market account and certificates of deposit)
- Company stock or stakeholder shares
- Life insurance death benefits
Because a living trust bypasses the probate process, the management and distribution of your transferred assets will be confidential and private.
You can share ownership of the trust with your spouse
Connecticut residents can decide whether they want a single or joint trust. The latter is typically for married couples who want their spouse to have joint tenancy over all the properties and assets under the trust. The living spouse will automatically become the trustee of the entire estate when the other spouse dies. A joint or shared trust simplifies estate planning by removing the property division process.
You can also decide to have an individual living trust and name a successor trustee. Either way, a living trust will safeguard your legacy and ensure management continuity.