One of the considerations for estate planning is whether your plan should include a Living Trust to avoid probate and to make administration easier and more confidential. In North Carolina, not everyone needs to have a Living Trust and it’s a decision that your elderlaw estate planning lawyer should help you consider. Is a living trust right for you? If you’re married, both in good health and your assets (other than your home, IRAs and life insurance) are less than $150,000 then the advantages of a Living Trust may not justify the expense in your situation. But if you have more in bank accounts and other investments, or if you’re single, or if you, your spouse or your beneficiaries have health concerns then a Living Trust is worth considering for peace of mind. Your Living Trust will survive you to ensure that the right people will inherit your assets in the right amounts, and upon the terms you designate.
Trusts can be confusing. It is important to recognize that a traditional Living Trust does not protect assets from nursing home costs and Medicaid. Generally a Medicaid asset protection trust will be irrevocable rather than revocable, and you will have limited direct access to the principal in the trust. Other types of trusts for advanced level wealth planning and estate tax savings may apply for clients who may have taxable estates.