Many people assume that a last will is the only logical document to use, because they feel as though a will is the simplest and most efficient estate planning device. In fact, the estate administration process can get rather complicated when you utilize a will to state your final wishes with regard to asset transfers.
The executor or the personal representative is the person who would handle the estate administration tasks after you die if you use a will. You could nominate an executor when you create the will.
Under Connecticut state laws, the executor would be required to admit the will to probate after your passing. During this process, the probate court would supervise the actions of the executor while the estate is being administered. The heirs would have to wait out this process. Inheritances would not be distributed while the estate was being probated.
This can be an expensive and time-consuming process, so it can create difficulties for the heirs.
You could steer away from a will and use a revocable living trust as an alternative. Property that you conveyed into the revocable living trust could be distributed among the beneficiaries after your passing outside of the process of probate.
The Role of the Trustee
If you establish a revocable living trust, you are called the grantor or settlor. The grantor will usually choose to act as the trustee initially. As the trustee, you would control the actions of the trust, and you could make alterations and take monetary distributions whenever you choose to do so.
Ultimately, you need someone to administer the living trust after you pass away so that your estate planning wishes are carried out. To make this happen, you name a successor trustee when you draw up the trust agreement.
Whom should you choose to act as the successor trustee? From a legal perspective, any willing adult who is mentally competent can technically act as a living trust successor trustee. You could name a business minded individual that you know to act as the successor trustee.
However, you could alternately engage the services of a professional fiduciary entity such as a bank or a trust company. The corporate trustee will always be in place, so there would be no longevity concerns. With a corporate trustee you have inherent oversight built-in, and the trust would be administered by a genuine financial expert.
When you weigh all of these factors, you may come to the conclusion that a corporate trustee may be your best option.
Free Living Trust Report
Download our special report if you would like to learn more about living trusts. The report is free, and you can click the following link to get your copy: Hartford CT Living Trusts.