A Living Trust is also known as a Revocable Trust. It is frequently used in Massachusetts as a fundamental part of estate planning. It can give you several advantages over just having a Will.
The advantages includes these:
Generally the tax benefits are available to married couples, or those with a long standing relationship. The Living Trust would include providing a subtrust for the benefit of the surviving spouse or partner.
This subtrust could provide income and principal to the survivor but with a special benefit. The subtrust's assets would not be included as part of the taxable estate of the survivor.
This non-inclusion on the second would lower the taxable estate of the survivor. So that the estate tax would be lower, as it is based on the taxable estate of the survivor's taxable estate.
In short, the survivor gets the benefit of the subtrust but the assets are NOT in the estate of the survivor.
Benefits Other than Tax
The Living Trust gives benefits apart from the above tax approach. It can accomplish these goals:
Keep money out of the hands of underage or beneficiaries with issues (addiction, etc.)
Avoids the probate of a will