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South Carolina Trust Attorneys

The Benefits of Creating a Revocable Trust

In South Carolina, the probate process can take up to one year.  The probate process can also be costly given that the probate court assesses filing fees based upon the size of the estate. The court costs of probating a will are paid directly out of the assets of the estate.

For more information about the filing fees and associated costs in probate court in Richland County click here:   

Lexington County residents click here:   

The creation of a living trust can avoid the long, drawn out process of probate and protect precious family assets.  While the process of probate occurs after a person passes, a trust is set up while he or she is still living. In most situations, a trust can save the estate money in the long run.  While the costs of creating a trust may seem more expensive at first, the long term benefit of avoiding probate could be financially smart.  

Having a trust in place will ensure that there are no added costs to your loved ones at the time of your death and further ensure that the property is protected from creditors. 

Another added benefit of creating a living trust is the privacy it affords your family.  When a will goes through probate, it becomes a matter of public record; all distributions will be made public.  In contrast, when there is a trust in place, the distribution of assets remains private.  Even if you are a person of modest means, you likely have a home as well as other assets that you want to protect. Finding a trustworthy partner to help you develop your estate plan should be highly prioritized.  Creating a trust should be part of your overall estate plan and will provide a means to have control over the distribution of your estate while you are still living.

Revocable v. Irrevocable Trusts

Living trusts are separated into two categories:  revocable and irrevocable.  So, what is the difference?

Irrevocable trusts are fairly simple to understand.  When assets are placed into an irrevocable trust, you cannot retrieve them and have no ownership over the assets.  Simply put, the trust now owns all of your assets and are distributed accordingly based on the terms of the trust.

Revocable trusts are just that, revocable.  Meaning, when your assets are placed into a trust, at some point in the future, they can be “revoked” and your transfer can be undone, thus terminating the trust.  This may come into play if your ability to make decisions (mental capacity) comes into question.  With a revocable trust, you could dispute your incapacity and regain control of the assets yourself.  

Items You May Want to Consider Placing in a Revocable Trust include:

  • houses and other real estate, including land
  • A valuable collection such as art, antiques, coins or other objects
  • Stocks, bonds, mutual funds

 Given the number of estate planning options available, the Strom Law Firm, LLC offers a free consultation to assess your situation and help guide you through the process. In preparation for our meeting, you should consider which assets you’d like to transfer to a living trust; to whom items in the trust will be distributed and what will happen if the beneficiaries are not alive at the time of your passing; and who will serve as the trustee if you are incapacitated or die. Contact the Strom Law Firm, LLC today for a free consultation to discuss how we can help.

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