a trust does what a will does,
why MA revocable living trusts are increasingly
if you want to avoid the court procedure
a living trust is effective
the day you sign it
a trust continues even if
you become incapacitated
saving estate taxes
estate planning for Cambridge, Boston,
and certain other towns need
You are probably familiar with the concept of a will. You may not know of another valuable estate planning tool, the living trust.
At first look, living trusts and wills look similar. Wills tend to be shorter than living trusts, but each document can be dozens of pages long. Simple wills may be known as a Last Will and Testament, and a living trust is also called a Revocable Trust.
Since 1992 I’ve created over 2500 living trusts for Massachusetts clients. Living trusts make the probate of wills and administration of trusts easier, and eliminate state involvement (probate) if possible.
Wills become effective only after a person's death; in fact, wills only become a will when a judge's signature makes it official. That process is called probate (or proof) of the will.
Probate is often a bewildering experience for surviving family members. This involvement of the State in an individual's life (more precisely, their death) is a historical fact dating back to the 16th century (the Statute of Wills in England.)
A funded living trust avoids probate court involvement. Wills only affect those assets you own in your sole name. Instead, when you change the name on assets from your sole name to 'yourself as trustee', those assets are not legally your ‘sole' property and so no probate is needed.
It can save your family a lot of money, time and grief.
A living trust is in force as soon a person signs it, not when a judge approves it after death. It eliminates the time delay of state involvement.
A living trust also helps if you become disabled or incapacitated in some way. If the you as the signer of the trust are unable to handle your affairs, another person named in the trust can handle them in your stead. More and more this is an important feature of a living trust. A will is very different, as it does nothing until you die, so it cannot help in case you are incapacitated.
A living trust can save you estate taxes if you're: