Besides getting a will in place before you die, there are other options such as using an inter vivos trust, that you can use to help monitor and manage your property and assets, for the benefit of your chosen beneficiaries. That “one day” could come at any moment, and you will definitely want to be ready in any event of an accidental death or pandemic loss of life, to cover your bases in just this type of tragic situation.
Inter Vivos Trust
An inter vivos trust is a revocable living trust, and is able to work to help you as an estate planning guide for managing your assets while you are alive. The living trust has a grantor who creates the trust, trustees who will carry out any instructions regarding managing the trust agreement, and beneficiaries who will benefit from the trust res.
A trust is a written contract between the grantor and the trustee, where the trustee will manage the assets or property at the request of the grantor, for the benefit of the beneficiaries when the object of the trust passes to them. Many times, the grantor is the trustee and beneficiary during the person’s lifetime. These directions are set in the agreement, and it can be revoked, changed or amended at any time that the grantor wants it modified. Just as long as the grantor is alive and of “sound mind and body.” Once the grantor dies though, the trust becomes irrevocable and is unable to be changed in any way. In that case, it can be considered a contract that is written in stone.
A living trust can benefit people of nearly every economic status, and it is not just for the top 10% of wealthy individuals in the country. The living trust is a great tool to use to safely manage trust property for the benefit of beneficiaries, who will inherit this property at a much later date in time. The living trust can also be used to offer protections, whereby if the trustee develops mental infirmities, then a successor trustee can be named in the original document to step in and continue the management of the trust.
Upon the grantor’s death, the trust property will be distributed to the beneficiaries as instructed. These instructions can cover what to do if there are any creditors or outstanding liabilities of the grantor, that would possibly be lurking about to get money from the “estate” to pay those lingering bills. The living trust can meet those needs, by discussing and resolving any of those issues beforehand, with a statement on maximizing the benefits of the trust properties for the use of the beneficiaries. The idea of using a living trust can be complicated, and may need to be the subject of a probate action at the death of the grantor in some cases. Additionally, if there is a will, the inter vivos trust is not properly funded, or there are any issues with the trust, you will want to talk to someone knowledgeable about these issues, with an eye to the future and what could go wrong.
Before deciding on whether you want or need a living trust, you can discuss the issues with an attorney.