Five common living trust myths

Many San Jose area residents know the benefits of estate planning, while many others have not taken the time to create an estate plan for their unique situation. Regardless of whether a person has an estate plan or not, a living trust may be a good estate planning tool. But there are several myths surrounding living trusts that should be addressed.

  1. A living trust is only for the wealthy. Although the word trust may make it sound like it only for extremely wealthy people, a living trust is a good estate planning tool for many families. It can be a good foundation for an estate plan and provide protection in the event of incapacitation or death.
  2. You give up control of finances. A person who has a living trust still has complete control over their assets including how and when they are distributed to beneficiaries.
  3. A living trust can’t be updated. A living trust can be continually updated or revoked.
  4. Having a living trust avoids probate. A living trust can help a person avoid probate but only if it set up correctly and all assets are included in the trust.
  5. Protects assets from nursing homes. Setting up a trust won’t help a person qualify for Medicaid or Medical Assistance. The assets that are in the trust are still a person’s until they pass away.

A legal professional who is skilled in estate planning can help their client determine what their best estate planning options may be. Every family is different and there is a wide array of estate planning strategies available.