A Homeowners Living Trust is a legal document created during your lifetime that spells out exactly what your desires are with regard to your assets, your dependents, and your heirs. The big difference is that a will becomes effective only after you die and your will has been entered into probate.
Have you heard of Probate? If not, ask around. In no time you will likely hear horror stories from pretty much anyone who has dealt with the Probate process. Ask those same people if they would have preferred avoiding Probate. They will overwhelmingly answer “yes!” Here comes the great news – Getting a Homeowners Living Trust AVOIDS PROBATE! And avoiding Probate keeps a big chunk of money in your estate and not in the pockets of probate attorneys!
Attorneys are also allowed to charge extraordinary fees over the basic statutory fee for matters such as the sale of real property or other “extraordinary” time and effort to close the estate.
Congratulations! You own a home – the American Dream!
Now you need to get a Homeowners Living Trust to protect your home for your loved ones so they don’t have to sell off the living room to pay the ridiculous amount of legal fees in order to inherit it!
What is a Homeowners Living Trust? It is a bunch of papers stapled together. A contract, really. It is a contract between 1) the Trustors, the people who are creating the Trust and putting their stuff “into” the Trust; 2) the Trustees, the people who manage and are in control of all the assets in the Trust; and 3) the Beneficiaries, the people who get to use all the stuff in the Trust. Guess what – YOU are all three of the parties to the contract!
YOU are the one putting your house and other assets into the Trust; YOU are the one in charge of the stuff in the Trust; and YOU get to use all the stuff in the Trust! Let’s take an example: Ben and Bonnie bought a house. Ben and Bonnie then got themselves a Homeowners Living Trust.
As the TRUSTORS, Ben and Bonnie put their house “into” their Trust. As the TRUSTEES, Ben and Bonnie manage the house, pay taxes and insurance on the house, make updates to the house, sell the house… whatever they want because they are the Trustees in charge.
As the BENEFICIARIES, Ben and Bonnie get to live in the house, they get any increased value in the house, they get to use the house as they see fit because they are the Beneficiaries.
In a nutshell, you set up a Trust, put your house into it, and then go about your business as usual. There is nothing too special or complicated you need to do. Your life will go on as normal – only you will sleep better knowing your have a Homeowners Living Trust.