Avoiding Probate with Living Trust

Video Transcript

Hi folks. Thanks for stopping by. My name is Greg Robinson. Today I’d like to talk to you about a living trust.

There are three positions on the trustee. The first position is that of the grantor. That’s the position of the person who creates or writes the document. The second position on the team is that of the trustee. The trustee manages the assets according to the terms contained in the trust itself. And the third position on the team is that of the beneficiary. That’s the best position to be in because you get the benefits of the assets in the trust. So there are three positions on the team. The grantor, also known as the trustor, the trustee, and the beneficiary.

I’ve always compared a living trust to a safe. Everyone knows that a safe holds and protects assets, but in order for a safe to be of any value to you, you actually have to transfer your assets and put them in the safe. The same analogy applies to a trust. In order for a trust to protect you, you actually have to take your assets and transfer them into your trust. For example, if you own a house, you would typically transfer your house into the name of the trust by using a deed. In Missouri, we typically use a general warranty deed.

The trust protects us in various events in our life. For example, the trust can protect us if we become disabled. It protects us from a court imposed conservatorship. If we die, a trust protects us from going through probate. And additionally, the trust can hold our assets and distribute them out to our beneficiaries according to, what we believe, to be the best terms for the beneficiaries. Additionally, everyone knows that when we die if we have assets in our individual name, our assets have to go to probate.

The same analogy applies to a trust. We know a trust is an inanimate object just like a safe and a safe can’t die or get sick, so the assets that are in our trust are protected from going through probate. And one of the biggest benefits of a trust is the ability to control the distribution of the assets to the beneficiaries.

There are many different ways to distribute the assets. Rather than making the distribution at ages, some people choose to distribute the assets out to the beneficiaries over a period of years from their date of death. Trusts are very flexible instruments and I’ve always said that trusts are just like shoes. They have to be fitted to your individual situation and your circumstances. If you have any other questions, feel free to visit our website at gregoryerobinson.com. Thanks again.

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