Berman & Asbel, LLP

Including a home in a living trust

The Pennsylvania probate system might be one of the best reasons to consider creating a living trust for assets such as the family home. Probate court can cause the management of an estate to drag on for many months after an individual dies. A trust, on the other hand, could provide for a prompt disposition of assets, requiring only a few weeks to wrap up a decedent's affairs. However, there are some important issues to consider in creating a living trust and including properties in it.

Trusts can be revocable or irrevocable based on long-term expectations. A revocable trust could be changed as needed, which gives the grantor flexibility over time. Because an irrevocable trust cannot typically be changed, great care should be taken in establishing it. While it is not a very flexible estate planning tool, the irrevocable trust can be helpful for those interested in saving money on taxes. A trust might not handle small belongings, which means that a will could still be needed. However, large assets like a home can be managed with greater efficiency in a trust.

Legal assistance can be extremely important for people who are trying to decide on the right trust for their needs. It can also be important as a titled asset is changed to the name of the trust rather than the name of the grantor. Even a property that has a mortgage can potentially be adjusted for inclusion in a trust.

Goal setting is a crucial element of planning one's living trust and other estate management strategies. Major changes in family or personal circumstances could affect an estate plan, which means that regular review of the details is a priority. Additionally, it may be helpful to meet with an estate planning lawyer to make changes to include newly acquired assets.

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