Probate ensures debts are paid, attorneys and other necessary professionals are approved, clear title to property is established, and remaining assets are distributed to heirs according to a will or applicable law if no will is present.
While this may sound like a simple approach, the problems with probate are threefold: it's a long process, it's expensive, and it's public. Here's one unsavory description: "Probate is a lawsuit you file against yourself and your family in favor of the rest of the world."
Establishing one or more trusts and transferring assets to those trusts often allows you to avoid probate entirely. Once designated assets are transferred to trust, they live there past your death— because trusts do not "die"—and the trust terms instruct Dunham Trust what to do with the assets. As a result, you don't need a public record made in a court room to assure that assets will be handled as you wish.
During your life you typically maintain control, but upon death, the trust provides for the transfer of all assets according to the instructions you've established. If privacy is important to your family, a trust can be an especially critical component of your financial plan.
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If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact Dunham Trust at 775-826-7900. We thank you for your commitment to Dunham.