Protecting ones assets and maintaining privacy are common goals for Texas residents. In some cases, a will is all that is needed to protect assets. However, others have discovered that living trusts offer a greater level of asset protection and the privacy that the individual desires.
Unlike a will, a living trust is not subject to probate. When the individual dies, the trustee can immediately begin taking care of matters under the trust umbrella. Assets can be managed as appropriate which can save both time and money. Additionally, since there is no probate, the terms of the trust do not become public knowledge.
In addition to protecting assets upon death, living trusts can also protect assets if the individual becomes incapacitated. One assumes that he/she will always be able to manage his/her own affairs; however, what happens if the individual is seriously injured in an accident and is unable to make appropriate decisions regarding assets? With a living trust, provisions can already be in place to handle such an emergency with a trustee and appropriate directives in place for estate management to continue.
It is also possible that the Texas resident will be ill and unable to continue to manage his/her own estate. Dementia and other debilitating diseases unfortunately make it impossible for the individual to continue managing affairs. Living trusts can provide the financial security and asset management needed. Additionally, this can all be done according to the wishes of the individual as directed by the trust. Experienced legal counsel can work with the individual to determine if a living trust is the appropriate estate management tool.