Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze & Observer 5-9-13

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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24 MAY 8-14, 2013 | valley breeze & OBSErVER living edition Legal Advertisement The Benefits Of Utilizing A Living Trust In Estate Planning Regardless Of The Size Of Your Estate 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. 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. A will is a legal document which indicates how a person's estate is to be distributed after their death. The person executing the will (the "testator") may provide for equal or unequal division of their property amongst their heirs or anyone else they choose. Without a properly drawn and executed 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. Unlike a will, a living trust does not have to be approved by a probate court. This practically 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 direct the disposition of your assets after your death. The expenses include the probate inventory tax, probate court filing fees and advertising A trust is a legal relationship in which one or costs, and attorney's fees. The cost to use a more persons (the "grantor" or "settlor") living trust as the center of your estate plan is transfer assets to an individual or institution less than the cost of probating a single will. (the "trustee") for the benefit of certain In addition, the delay involved in the probate persons or institutions (the "beneficiaries"). of a will is also eliminated. A living trust Rhode Island law permits the same person(s) continues uninterrupted after death. The to be the settlor(s), trustee(s) and beneficiary/ appointment of a successor trustee is beneficiaries at the same time. This allows a provided for in the living trust itself. Since the single person or couple to utilize a trust as the trust does not need to be approved by a center of an estate plan while retaining probate court, the delay of at least nine (9) complete control over their assets during the months experienced in probating a will, before assets can be distributed or used for remainder of their lifetimes. the benefit of survivors, is avoided. Trusts can reduce tax liability; provide flexibility to achieve non-tax objectives such Everyone should consider an estate plan to as prudent management of estate property; properly manage assets during their lifetime expeditious and confidential transfer of assets and control their distribution after death. In upon death; and protection of your assets many cases, such an estate plan should be centered around a living trust to avoid the from the claims of creditors. expense and delay of probate. A trust can A living trust can provide for whose benefit provide many benefits regardless of the size your assets are used during your lifetime and of your estate. to whom they are distributed after your Courtesy of: George M. Prescott ATTORNEY AT LA W 300 Front Street, Lincoln, Rhode Island, 02865-0089 Tel. (401) 726-5577 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.

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