How Does a Living Trust Avoid Probate?

A Living Trust is an artificial “person” created by a living individual. The Trust takes effect immediately. While it does sound like legal double talk to claim that a written document is a “person,” we have many artificial “persons” in our society, including corporations and limited liability companies. Once the Trust is created, all of the client’s assets are transferred to the Trust (while usually still under the client’s control). Upon the death of the client, all of the assets are owned by an artificial person (the Trust) which does not die from old age or illness. Since probate is only for deceased persons’ assets, the trust’s assets do not need to be probated. The remaining Trust needs a new manager, called a Trustee, to wind up the affairs of the Trust according to the wishes of the person who created the Trust.