Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze & Observer 10-18-2018

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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Page 47 of 63

24 OCTOBER 17-23, 2018 | VALLEY BREEZE & OBSERVER LIVING EDITION The Rhode Island Supreme Court licenses all lawyers in the general practice of law. The Court does not license or certify any lawyer as an expert or specialist in any field of practice. George M. Prescott ATTORNEY AT LAW 300 Front Street, Lincoln, Rhode Island, 02865-0089 (401) 726-5577 Courtesy of: An estate plan provides for the management of a person's assets during their lifetime and the disposition of those assets after death. Most estate plans consist of a will and/or trust. A will is a legal document which indicates how a person's estate is to be distribut - ed after their death. The person executing the will (the "testator") may provide for equal or unequal division of their proper- ty amongst their heirs or anyone else they choose. Without a properly drawn and ex- ecuted will, the person's estate would pass to their heirs. Most often this is not what a testator desires. All wills must be approved and allowed after the testator's death by the Probate Court for the city or town where they resided. A trust is a legal relationship in which one or more persons (the "grantor" or "settlor") transfer assets to an individual or institution (the "trustee") for the benefit of certain per - sons or institutions (the "beneficiaries"). Rhode Island law permits the same person(s) to be the settlor(s), trustee(s) and beneficia- ry/beneficiaries at the same time. This allows a single person or couple to utilize a trust as the center of an estate plan while retaining complete control over their assets during the remainder of their lifetimes. Trusts can reduce tax liability; provide flex - ibility to achieve non-tax objectives such as prudent management of estate property; ex- peditious and confidential transfer of assets upon death; and protection of your assets from the claims of creditors. A living trust can provide for whose bene - fit your assets are used during your lifetime and to whom they are distributed after your death. This provides continuity of control and immediate access to assets, without the expense and delay of probate. A living trust will eliminate the need for a guardian of your estate if you become incapacitated. Unlike a will, a living trust does not have to be approved by a probate court. This prac - tically eliminates the possibility your estate plan will be contested by an unhappy child or other heir. Avoidance of probate also results in a substantial savings in both time and money to your estate. All expenses of probate are eliminated by the use of a living trust to control and di - rect the disposition of your assets after your death. The expenses include the probate inventory tax, probate court filing fees and advertising costs, and attorney's fees. The cost to use a living trust as the center of your estate plan is less than the cost of pro - bating a single will. In addition, the delay involved in the pro- bate of a will is also eliminated. A living trust continues uninterrupted after death. The appointment of a successor trustee is provided for in the living trust itself. Since the trust does not need to be approved by a probate court, the delay of at least nine (9) months experienced in probating a will, be - fore assets can be distributed or used for the benefit of sur vivors, is avoided. Everyone should consider an estate plan to properly manage assets during their lifetime and control their distribution after death. In many cases, such an estate plan should be centered around a living trust to avoid the expense and delay of probate. A trust can provide many benefits regardless of the size of your estate. The Benefits of Utilizing A Living Trust In Estate Planning Regardless Of The Size Of Your Estate Legal Advertisement

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