Trusts are useful tools for estate planning for many reasons, but they can be confusing if you don’t understand the basics of a living trust. They also can be complicated if you don’t work with an experienced estate planning attorney to make sure the trust is comprehensive, well written, and reflective of your wishes. Administration of a well-crafted trust is easy to comprehend and to carry out.
The attorneys at Bland & Birdwhistell, PLLC have helped hundreds of clients in Elizabethtown, Kentucky and surrounding counties create trusts, guiding them through the process of establishing a trust and helping them, their trustees, and their beneficiaries understand how they are administered.
Trusts in Kentucky
Anyone age 18 or older can establish a living trust in Kentucky. The person who creates a trust is called the “settlor” or “grantor.” The settlor conveys property to a trustee who manages the assets of the trust until such time the settlor directs the assets to be distributed to one or more beneficiaries of the trust.
While everyone should have a will, there are two major benefits to also having a trust as part of your estate plan. First, if all the settlor’s assets are included in the trust, the estate will not have to go through probate upon the settlor’s death. Probate takes a minimum of six months in Kentucky and attorneys representing the estate charge an hourly fee or an average of 4% to 7% of the estate’s value. That means distributing the decedent’s assets will require less time and cost than when an estate has to go through probate to be settled.
Second, because the estate does not go through probate, which is a public judicial process, the identity of the decedent’s assets remains private.