Following a recent Estate Planning event in Covington, an attendee in her early 50’s asked me, “when is the right age to set up a Living Trust in Louisiana?” Well . . .There is more than one right answer to this question, but generally, the older you are, the more attractive a living trust will be for you and your family. A Living Trust is used to avoid the court supervised probate succession procedure that usually must take place after your death. In order to avoid probate, your trust must be funded with all of your property that would otherwise be subject to a probate procedure.
We typically tell clients and prospective clients that trusts are not for the young. The reason for this is two-fold. First, when you are young you are still in the process of acquiring new assets. Throughout the remainder of your life, you may buy and sell multiple pieces of real estate, create numerous new investment accounts, and acquire other assets like CDs that might need to be placed in trust. When you set up your trust early in life, it may be burdensome for you to ensure that all of your assets make it into the trust. If assets that need to be in trust fail to make it into your trust, probate for your estate will be necessary and the entire purpose of your trust will be defeated.
With older individuals, they are usually set in their property and will not be acquiring many new assets in the future. Thus, when they set up their trust they can easily move all of the necessary assets into the trust at the same time they set it up, and they won’t have to worry as much about keeping the trust funded. I’m not saying a trust won’t work for a younger individual, in fact new property may be acquired in the name of the trust. However, the younger you are and the more new assets you will accrue, the more burdensome a trust may become.
Second, trusts are not for the young because the young are less focused on achieving the primary goal of a Revocable Living Trust, which is avoiding probate. This is because the younger you are, presumably the more time you have left on this earth. With a potential probate procedure for your estate probably not occurring until many many years in the future, a trust is less of a priority for you.
Whether a trust is right at your age depends on a number of factors that you must look at and evaluate. How is your health? Do you plan on buying up a lot more property in your life or are you set with what you already have? Will you be able to keep up with any new assets you acquire to ensure that they are purchased in the name of your trust or are ultimately transferred into your trust?
If after asking yourself these questions you feel that a Louisiana Revocable Living Trust is right for you call me or send me an email to begin setting up your trust. Also feel free to call or email me with any other questions you may have regarding living trusts or estate planning in general. I can be reached at (504) 274-1980 or firstname.lastname@example.org.