Interviewer:   Becky, what do you think are the three main benefits of trust planning?

Becky Cholewka:  Sure. The three main benefits of revocable living trust plan, number one, we want to avoid probate. It is very costly and time intensive. It’s at a time when most family members don’t want to be dealing with attorney’s and the court process.

It’s about three to five thousand dollars to go through probate, here in Arizona, and about 9 months to about 18 months. With a trust based plan that is properly funded, we can avoid the probate process.

Secondly, we can do incapacity planning, which is making sure while we are still alive, if something is going to happen to us, that we don’t end up back in the probate court doing what we call living probate.

Having those guardianship and conservatorship actions, which again are going to cost three to six thousand dollars each action and is going to take your family’s time and attention away from that needed loved one.

Thirdly, we also can provide asset protection in a trust based plan as opposed to a will. Not for ourselves, but for our beneficiaries. If I leave money to my four year old, when he turns 18, he is not going to get a bunch of cash. When I leave it to him in a trust, I can leave him asset protected money that a trustee can manage for him.

Those are the three biggest benefits. Avoiding probate, incapacity planning, and asset protection for your beneficiary’s.