A revocable living trust can be an effective estate planning tool for anyone who owns property in South Carolina. This is because any assets held inside of such a trust are unlikely to be subject to state probate laws. Furthermore, since the document takes effect as soon as it’s properly executed, it can provide asset protection for those who become incapacitated.
Why are trust assets not subject to probate?
When you die, you are no longer legally capable of owning property. Therefore, a judge will need to determine how assets held inside of your estate at the time of your death should be distributed. However, trust assets are held outside of your estate in the name of the trust itself.
As a trust cannot die, it can theoretically own assets indefinitely. It is important to note that assets transferred into a trust using a pour-over will typically must go through probate. Furthermore, you should know that a living trust becomes an irrevocable trust at the time of your death. A probate and estate administration attorney may provide more insight into what happens to a trust when you pass.
A trust may ensure that you’re protected while incapacitated
A trust can include language appointing someone to raise your children if you are unable to do so on your own. It can also be used to appoint someone to manage assets titled in the trust’s name if you are unable to do so for any reason. This can help to ensure that mortgage, auto loan and other payments are made in a timely manner. Staying current with your bills minimizes the risk that a home, car or other asset that dependents need to maintain their lifestyle aren’t repossessed.
It may be in your best interest to have an attorney help you draft a living trust. In the event that you have already created such a document, legal counsel may review it to determine if it conforms to state law.