TRUSTS: Your Friend Can Inherit Your Property Without Probate

By Deloughery Law Office, PLC
Trusts help avoid probate and can also save taxes.  A trust is the best way to ensure that your friend can inherit all your property without having to go through probate or pay taxes. This is especially important if you are naming a friend (rather than a family member or spouse) as your beneficiary. 
Spouses, for example, have some special protections under the law.  Friends don’t.

If you want your friend to inherit all your property upon your death, contact an estate planning attorney to help your create a trust. You will then transfer your property to the trust.  By property, I mean all your “stuff”:  homes, vehicles, checking and savings accounts, personal possessions, etc.

I say that the best way is to have an estate planning attorney create a trust because if you use an online service, you never know what you are getting. The trust will name your friend as the beneficiary. Then the attorney can help you transfer your assets (your “stuff”) to the trust. (The attorney can explain how to do this or help you do this.)

A related issue is how to prevent your family from raising Cain after you die. (You don’t want your family suing your friend after your death, right?) One possible solution is to have your attorney send a letter to your “next of kin” saying that your have created a trust that names your friend as the sole beneficiary. You will want to keep copies of those letters with your estate planning documents. This will arguably start the statute of limitations for any family members who might file claims after your death. 

If you have any questions about trusts or how to enforce a trust after someone has died, let us know. We deal with these situations all the time.
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