The procedures to form a living trust may vary by state. Here’s everything you need to know about forming a living trust in Ohio.

A living trust, also known as an “inter vivos” trust is a document a trustor creates while still alive. Trustors may name beneficiaries to receive trust property once the trustor has passed away. While living trusts are similar to wills, a living trust can avoid the probate process.

What is a Living Trust?

In Ohio, an individual may create a living trust to avoid probate for their assets. Residents may make a living trust for most of their assets, including real estate, bank accounts, and vehicles.

The owner must create a trust document naming a successor or trustee on a living trust. Once the trust owner passes away, there is a legal transfer of ownership for all assets listed to the trustee. After the property transfers, the property will be controlled by the terms set on the trust.

With a living trust, a decedent’s successor trustee will be able to transfer it to the trust beneficiaries without probate court proceedings.

Related: Family Trust vs. Living Trust: The Difference

Benefits of Creating a Living Trust

Many benefits to a living trust include:

  • Avoiding probate
  • Providing protection for a trustor’s family
  • Managing assets in case of incapacitation or illness
  • Controlling the distribution of assets
  • Saving on income and estate texas
  • More privacy than other alternatives

What is Probate?

Probate is the legal procedure an estate goes through after the owner passes away. During the legal proceeding, a court starts distributing a decedent’s estate to its proper heirs.

Probate is easier if a decedent has a will or living trust outlining their wishes. A decedent may name their beneficiaries and executor on a will or living estate. An executor is a person charged with overseeing your final wishes.

Even if a decedent has a will, they must go through probate. However, having a will or living estate expedites the probate process because the decedent has already expressed their wishes.

The probate process deals with the following:

  • Deciding if a will exists and is valid
  • Figuring out the decedent’s heirs or beneficiaries
  • Figuring out how much the decedent’s property is worth
  • Taking care of the decedent’s financial responsibilities
  • Transferring the decedent’s property to the heirs or beneficiaries

If a decedent leaves behind a will, the probate process will entail the following:

  1. A court will authenticate a decedent’s will
  2. A court will authorize the executor to pay all debts and taxes
  3. A court will authorize the executor to distribute the remaining property

During the probate process, if a decedent did not leave a will, an administrator is appointed by the court to collect the assets, pay the debts and expenses, and distribute the remainder of a decedent’s estate to beneficiaries (those with a legal right to inherit a decedent’s estate). The probate process must occur with court supervision and may take between 9 months to 1 ½ years or longer.

How to Create a Living Trust in Ohio

In Ohio, trustors may create a revocable living trust or an irrevocable trust.

With a revocable trust, the trustor can modify or revoke the trust at any time.
With an irrevocable trust, this is not possible. Once an irrevocable trust is signed, it cannot be modified. While revocable trusts offer flexibility, irrevocable trusts are useful for reducing taxes.

To create a living trust in Ohio, a trustor must follow these steps:

  1. Choose whether to create a revocable or irrevocable trust
  2. Decide which property to include in the trust
  3. Choose beneficiaries and successor trustees
  4. Create a trust document with an online willmaker or with the help of an attorney
  5. Sign the trust document in front of a notary public.
  6. Change the title of any trust property on the trust document

FAQs about Forming a Living Trust in Ohio

Should I form a living trust?

Creating a living trust may be your best option depending on the circumstances. Living trusts help reduce taxes on trusted property, avoid probate, and offer more privacy than other alternatives.

Do I still need a will in Ohio if I have a living trust?

Yes, Ohio residents must still have a will even if they have created a living trust. However, if a living trust is valid, the court may never use the will.

Can I revoke my living trust?

It depends on which form of trust a party creates. A party may revoke or modify a revocable trust. Once they sign an irrevocable trust, they cannot modify it.

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If you or a loved one would like to know more about how to form a living trust in Ohio, get your free consultation with one of our family law attorneys today!