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If you have substantial assets, and you are interested in privacy, or in avoiding probate, a living trust may be appropriate for you. Your property is conveyed to the trust, is managed by the trustee (which may be you until your death or disability) and, upon the Trustee's death, the successor trustee named in the trust disburses the assets as specified by you in the trust.

A trust is not admitted to probate, meaning that the terms of it are private, and the trustee does not need a court order to convey any of the property.

A living trust also has the advantage that if you own real estate in another state, your personal representative will not need to open an ancillary estate in that state in order to transfer the property, so long as the property has been transferred to the trust.

Although a trust may save some probate costs, the value of the trust is still part of your gross estate, meaning you do not necessarily save any taxes. Also, the trust does not protect your assets from your creditors, and any income from trust assets flows directly through to you.