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


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.

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