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Perhaps you are reaching retirement age, and you wish to create a document that outlines which beneficiaries will receive your substantial assets. Perhaps you want to ensure that your property falls into the correct hands when you pass away, or maybe you have a collection of valuables that you want given to a specific loved one.

Many adults choose to create a living trust to gift large assets to their beneficiaries after they pass away. Yet the need for a living trust extends beyond those who have acquired significant money and property throughout their lifetime. If you wish to protect your assets from probate, or the process of proving that your will is your legal and valid last testament, you want to establish a living trust. Probate does not allow your beneficiaries to receive your assets immediately.

Living trusts do not face probate

A living trust and a will consist of similar documentation, but a will is subjected to the probate process. In Virginia, probate involves determining whether your will is valid. Then, a court will identify all assets listed and distribute them according to a will document.

Unfortunately, depending on the quantity of assets listed or not listed, the probate process of distribution and validation can take anywhere from one to three years. During this time, your beneficiaries do not have the authority to receive any of your designated assets in your own will.

Living trusts, on the other hand, cannot face probate. According to Virginia law, you can create a living trust that establishes your asset distribution and names beneficiaries, so that should you become incapacitated, another individual can utilize this document to carry out your affairs.

When you pass away, the living trust becomes irrevocable. Irrevocable trusts may not face probate, and your beneficiaries may receive your allocated assets immediately upon your passing.

To ensure that your loved ones receive your gifts and assets, without subjecting your property to probate, you may wish to establish a living trust. When creating any estate planning document, it may prove essential to hire an experienced Virginia attorney to help you draft a sound legal document for your assets.