Whether you are in the process of organizing your estate and making plans as to what will happen with your property once you pass, or you are dealing with the aftermath of a friend or family member’s passing, you may be faced with some difficult issues. One of the most challenging may involve the probate process. Probate procedures are used to help transfer property to the rightful beneficiaries named in the deceased’s last will and testament. During the process, the estate is inventoried and calculated, estate expenses are taken from the value of the estate and the remaining property and assets are given to beneficiaries. Yet, the probate process may be skipped altogether if an irrevocable trust is in place.

As you are creating the trust, you can decide exactly who you want to have what when it comes to property and assets. When you pass, the money is directly transferred to those named in the trust. In addition, information regarding who received property and/or assets is not a matter of public record, unlike the probate process.

You should keep in mind that once you create an irrevocable trust, it is extremely difficult to amend or modify it. Once you entrust another person with your property and/or assets in an irrevocable trust, it is considered theirs and you no longer have access to change where it goes. This protects you from losing property to creditors and collectors, as the property is no longer in your name. A revocable trust, on the other hand, can be amended if necessary.

This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.