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Making your living trust will be simpler if you plan ahead of time and acquire all of the relevant information.

3D illustration of “LIVING TRUST” title on legal document

It is critical that you prepare for what will happen to your assets after your death, regardless of the size of your estate.

A living trust may offer you with the assurance that not only your family will be cared for, but also that your desires will be carried out after your death.

When done appropriately, a living trust may also ensure that your assets are distributed quickly, that excessive taxes are avoided, and that your desires are kept confidential.

Because your living trust will be one of the most essential papers you will create in your lifetime, you should be prepared before you begin.

Here are five things to consider before creating a living trust:
  1. Create a list of all of your assets.

Make a list of your assets, which should cover everything you possess. Assets range from physical goods such as your home, vehicle, and jewellery to intangible ones such as stocks, bonds, and life insurance policies.

Having this list in front of you will help you get a better image of your estate and determine how you want it divided when you die.

  1. Locate the Documentation for Your Assets

Before drafting the living trust, make a list of all of your assets and their valuations, and make sure you have all of the documentation — titles, deeds, stock certificates, life insurance policies, and so on — in order and ready to pass over to the attorney who will be constructing your living trust.

Having everything ready will allow your attorney to get a head start since your assets will need to be transferred to the trust in order for it to “fund.”

  1. Select Beneficiaries

You must identify beneficiaries, or people who will get assets following your death, so think about who should get what before you go down to form the living trust. Beneficiaries might be family members, friends, or organisations (including charities).

You should also think about who you don’t want to obtain anything at all and discuss this with the attorney.

Remember that if you have specified beneficiaries on insurance policies, retirement or savings accounts, they may clash with your living trust intentions.

Make careful to notify the attorney of any possible stumbling blocks so that there are no legal squabbles among your beneficiaries after your death.

  1. Select a Successor Trustee

With a living trust, you designate yourself as the trustee so that you retain control over your assets throughout your lifetime

Your successor trustee, on the other hand, will settle your obligations and distribute your assets after your death, so select someone you trust.

Furthermore, in the event of your incapacity, your replacement trustee will be in charge of your affairs.

  1. Designate a Guardian for Your Minor Children

Although you cannot choose a guardian for your minor children in a living trust, you should think about who you would like to look after them in the event of your death.

This information may be included in a “pour-over will,” which also provides for the distribution of any assets acquired after the establishment of the living trust but before your death, as well as any assets that were accidentally omitted.