Does Having a Trust Prevent a Future Probate?

Hint: It Can! Speak With an Attorney To Learn Your Options

If you’ve done any estate planning research, you’ve likely seen the word “probate” and all the scary adjectives surrounding it. So what is probate, why do you want to avoid it, and does having a trust prevent a future probate case?

At Jordan & White, LLC, in Danvers, MA, we have over a decade of experience helping people like you create estate plans to protect their future wishes and loved ones.

Let’s start by explaining what probate is and why you may want to avoid it.

Probate is a court process that occurs after an individual passes to check the validity of their Last Will and Testament. The main purposes of probate are to locate, verify, and distribute your wealth according to your wishes while settling any debts owed to creditors. Probate court is a public process that can take anywhere from six to 12 months on average or longer, depending on estate complexity and everyone involved.

Probate can be an overwhelming, stressful, long, and expensive affair, especially while grieving the loss of a loved one. Because of this, many people want to create estate plans that allow their families to avoid probate after they pass.

With a will, your asset titles transfer from your name directly to your beneficiaries’ names after you pass, which requires probate. Conversely, trusts transfer your asset title names into the trust name until you pass when the titles transfer to your beneficiaries. Essentially, trusts work like holding boxes, carrying your assets for a designated time so that your loved ones can enjoy a smooth transfer.

So, does having a trust prevent a future probate case? Typically, yes.

You may open an irrevocable trust if you do not plan on changing the terms. Conversely, a revocable living trust allows you to edit or cancel the terms of the trust at any time.

Trusts can allow your loved ones to enjoy tax incentives as well. For example, your beneficiaries may avoid the capital gains tax on your real estate, which they would have to pay if it were transferred through a will. Trusts can include many variations that affect probate and tax requirements, so I’d be happy to speak with you about any questions or specifications.

If you aren’t interested in a trust but still want your family to avoid probate, you can become joint owners on a property with a beneficiary or name beneficiaries on your accounts. Again, these options may have different restrictions, so I’d be happy to explain everything in more depth during a consultation.

Does having a trust prevent a future probate case? Typically, yes, though you can speak with our team to find out more. Schedule a consultation on my calendar by clicking the link below, or call Jordan & White, LLC, at (978) 744-2811 to speak with an attorney from our team in Danvers, MA.