Fact vs. Fiction Archive

Fiction: A trust automatically avoids probate.

Fact: Trust planning is becoming more and more popular in the U.S. as a creative way to pass large assets to heirs while hopefully avoiding a probate proceeding. Without going into too much detail about the different kinds of trusts available (because they may vary by state), it's important to note that having a trust will not automatically avoid a probate proceeding after death.

The first step after you execute your trust is to retitle the assets that you wish the trust, vis-a-vis the trustee, to manage. If you pass away without retitling all of your trust assets, then assets that remain outside the trust will be subject to disposition according to your will, and a probate proceeding will be likely.

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