What are the advantages and disadvantages of a living trust?


Quick Answer

Some of the advantages of a living trust are being able to avoid probate and being able to name alternate beneficiaries to inherit property, says Nolo. Disadvantages of living trusts include the time they take to draw up and the amount of extra maintenance required when compared to a will.

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Full Answer

Avoiding the time consuming and expensive probate process is one of the main advantages of establishing a living trust, notes Nolo. Living trusts can help protect all manner of property and include the planning flexibility of a standard will.

A drawback of living trusts is that they can be difficult to modify, states Nolo. While a trust can be created without a lawyer, one that is drawn up by a lawyer can cost more than a thousand dollars. Even with a trust, it's a good idea for an individual to write up a standard will to use as a back up.

To decide whether or not a living trust is necessary, an individual should consider his age, his assets and his marital status, notes Nolo. Anyone under the age of 55 might not have much need for a living trust, and the same applies to individuals who aren't wealthy. Anyone who is unmarried and has several major assets to leave beneficiaries may want to consider drawing up a living trust.

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