A living trust, created while you’re alive, lets you control the distribution of your estate. You transfer ownership of your property and your assets into the trust. You can serve as the trustee or you can select a person or an institution to be the trustee. If you’re the trustee, you will have to name a successor trustee to distribute the assets at your death. Living trusts must be property funded, which means that the assets must actually be transferred out of your name and into the name of the trust. Otherwise, the trust will be invalid and won’t be recognized by a court. Properly drafted and executed, a living trust can be a very helpful estate planning tool. It can avoid probate because the trust owns the assets, not the deceased. For more information about how living trusts or how to avoid probate, contact an experienced attorney in your area today.