Massachusetts probate can be a long and drawn-out affair. Most estates must go through probate before their heirs can receive their inheritance. According to Massachusetts’ official website, probate is necessary to validate a will. However, if you create a living trust, you can avoid probate altogether.
When it comes to living trusts, you have two options. Revocable living trusts allow you to change the details as often as you want. Irrevocable living trusts cannot change once you create them. See below for more information about estate planning with a living trust.
Naming your trustee
Once you decide to create a trust, you need to determine who the trustee will be. As the grantor, you can name anyone you wish. If you do not want anyone to alter your trust while still alive, you can name yourself the trustee. Then when you die, a successor trustee takes over to manage your assets.
Wills versus trusts
Wills in Massachusetts must enter probate. In addition to the prolonged period it takes to distribute your assets, your estate must pay court fees, executor fees and attorney fees. This takes away from the inheritance your heirs can receive. You can avoid all these fees and pass along your estate immediately after your death with a trust. Trusts allow you to manage your estate as you see fit, without undue interference from local government.
Creating trust is an efficient way for large estates to transfer wealth from one generation to another. If you have an estate worth over $25,000, a living trust may be worth looking into. Consult with an estate planning attorney about creating an estate plan to protect your assets.