The assets you own deserve to be used how you hope when you die. However, estate owners might find it a challenge to protect their assets without a trust. A will provides direction regarding the use of your belongings, but it can be contested during probate once you die. This is why some estate owners write trusts to protect their assets.
What is probate?
Probate is a public proceeding that aims to disburse your assets, collect taxes and notify creditors after you die. Estate administration, however, doesn’t have to be public. Estate owners face the risk of their personal wishes being ignored during probate. Should you die without a plan, then your estate goes public by default. You can expect to lose assets if the following happen:
- Your children aren’t satisfied with their inheritances.
- Someone you didn’t mention or bequeath assets to makes a public claim.
- Creditors find your assets through public hearings.
- Someone claims that your mind was failing when you wrote a will.
The transfer of property
Though wills and the probate process create risks for estate assets, transferring assets to a trust helps protect those assets. Due to ownership transfers, trusts keep your assets from probate. When owned by a trust, for the benefit of a beneficiary, the assets placed into it aren’t legally yours. The trust technically owns them. Probate is issued to administer the possessions of a person, not a legal entity, so a trust isn’t liable to the public.
Wills and probate in Texas
It’s imperative to transfer your assets into a trust in advance. Anything you forget or maintain outside of a trust plan is exposed to the risk of loss, so planning now is necessary. “Pouring over” an asset, which is to assign it to a trust after death, is also an option. Strategically avoiding probate means you reduce the hassle and cost of disbursing your assets.