A living, or inter vivos trust, is simply a trust that is set up while the testator (the person who provides the assets to create the trust) is still alive. Some of the benefits of a living trust include the following:
- Less delay in administering the estate.
- Streamlines the procedure if there is property owned in multiple states.
- Trust assets are generally protected from creditors
- The administration of a trust is typically a private matter. There will be few public records that would state the nature or the amount of the trust or that would reveal the identity of a trust beneficiary.
- Property that is passed through a trust does not go through probate, which can significantly reduce the expenses associated with estate administration.
This is not to say that trusts eliminate all expenses. For example, the trustee, or person responsible for the administration of the trust, is owed a fee. Also, estate taxes, among other taxes, may still have to be paid.