Would a living trust be helpful in getting my estate divided up quickly?

I am a 58 year old widow in reasonably good health with 3 grown children. I own my ($150k) home and car outright. I have about $300k life insurance in a term life account if I die in the next 10 or so years. I make $18,000 a year and have very little savings. I have a will that I made up from a form I found online with an executor listed. Would a living trust help me divide my estate get divided up quickly or do I pretty much have my bases covered already? I have heard horror stories about people having to go through months of probate and I don’t want my kids to have to go through that.

Asked on March 28, 2015 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The advantage of a living trust when compared to a will is that with the living trust, the costs and delays associated with probate are avoided because assets are transferred on the date of death to the beneficiaries.

You said that your will is from an online form.  In order for the will to be valid, you had to sign it in the presence of two disinterested witnesses who also sign.  The exception to that requirement is if it is a holographic will which is a will signed, dated and completely in your handwriting; then you would not need any witnesses.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.