A living trust is a legal document that, like a will, contains your instructions for what you want to happen to your assets when you die. But, unlike a will, a living trust avoids probate at death, can control all of your assets, and prevents the court from controlling your assets at incapacity.
Benefits of a Living Trust:
Financial Power of Attorney
Financial Durable Power of Attorney - This document generally allows your agent to make business decisions for you and to sign your name if you are not able to. For example, your agent could sign checks for you to assure that your monthly bills are paid. the document is "durable" because it will remain effective even if you become incapacitated or disabled.
Health Care Power of Attorney
This is similar to a Financial Durable Power of Attorney, but it is designed to deal exclusively with medical and health care decisions. Your agent is given the responsibility to make medical treatment decisions if you are unable to effectively communicate with your doctor.
Living Will - This is a document which allows you to state in advance your preference regarding the use of life support. You set forth in writing your wishes as to what medical treatment you do and do not want if you are ever seriously ill. Our Living Will is called the "Your Wishes Guide."
Direct Distribution Plan
Everything is owned jointly with a fiduciary of your estate (usually a child) or with beneficiary designations. When you pass away the fiduciary gets the assets so they do not go to probate and then divides them among named heirs.