Living trusts have been around for a long time, but seldom do people fully understand the concept when it comes to estate planning. When considering the necessity of a living trust, I begin the conversation by asking my clients if they own real property, and how they feel about privacy.
In Nevada, a decedent’s real property distributed under a will must pass through probate. Real property includes your home or vacant land held in your name. Probate begins when the court appoints a Personal Representative and thereafter supervises distribution of the assets belonging to a person who has died.
However, probate can be avoided if a person creates a living trust and transfers all of their property (both real and personal) into the trust before they pass away. The owner and maker of the living trust is called the Grantor, and that person maintains complete control over the assets of their trust during their lifetime. A Grantor may amend or revoke their living trust.
When a person passes away, Nevada law requires the Personal Representative to “lodge” the original will and death certificate with the district court. At that time, the will becomes available to the public. Unlike a will, a living trust is not required to be filed with the court at Grantor’s death and its terms remain private.
If all the Grantor’s assets have been property transferred into the living trust, probate is neither necessary nor required. However, the person who serves as Successor Trustee must administer the terms of the trust and carry out the express wishes of the Grantor. A Successor Trustee has similar duties and responsibilities of a person appointed as a Personal Representative for the will but is not subject to court supervision.
Avoiding a costly probate and maintaining your privacy are just two of the advantages of creating a living trust as part of your complete estate plan.
Interested in learning more? Give me a call at 775-392-4223 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.