Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze & Observer 10-20-2016

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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32 OCTOBER 19-25, 2016 | VALLEY BREEZE & OBSERVER LIVING EDITION An estate pla n 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 wil l 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. A trus t 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 persons or institutions (the "beneficiaries"). Rhode Island law permits the same person(s) to be the settlor(s), trustee(s) and beneficiary/ 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 flexibility to achieve non-tax objectives such as prudent management of estate property; expeditious and confidential transfer of assets upon death; and protection of your assets from the claims of creditors. A living trust can provide for whose benefit 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 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 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 probating a single will. In addition, the delay involved in the probate 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, before assets can be distributed or used for the benefit of survivors, 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. Legal Advertisement The Benefits Of Utilizing A Living Trust In Estate Planning Regardless Of The Size Of Your Estate George M. Prescott Courtesy of: ATT O RNEY AT L AW The Rhode Island Supreme Court licenses all lawyers in the general practice of law. The Court does n ot license or certify any lawyer as an expert or specialist in any field of practice. 300 Front Street, Lincoln, Rhode Island, 02865-0089 (401) 726-5577

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