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A living trust is a legal document that allows you to transfer your real and personal property from your ownership to
ownership by a trust which you control. A living trust lets you reduce the number of assets you own in your own name
while allowing you full control over every asset transferred to the trust.
A living trust is a document which operates in an independent fashion; it can be given full legal effect without petition to the
probate court (the judicial authority charged with the administration and distribution of estates) and can operate
independently from or in conjunction with other estate planning documents, such as a medical directive to physicians, a
will, or other trusts.
The living trust we typically discuss is known as the revocable inter vivos trust, meaning that it is a trust which can be
changed at any time and one that is created during your lifetime (inter vivos ). An "A-B" series of revocable inter vivos
trusts can be used to eliminate estate taxes on up to $2,000,000.00 of property if used correctly. Because the living trust is
not submitted to the probate court, the living trust avoids all probate fees which usually amount to a minimum of 5% of the
gross estate.