A living trust is similar to a will in that it lets you control who gets your property when you die.
The primary benefit of a living trust is that it can help your beneficiaries avoid the expense and delay of probate of the assets transferred to the living trust before your death.
Probate is the court-directed process of distributing a person’s assets and possessions after death. The probate court governs the distribution of your estate according to the instructions of your will if you left one, or if you did not, according to your state’s laws of intestate succession.
At death, most property must pass through probate before it can be inherited. However, property transferred to a living trust prior to death does not. This is why most people prepare a living trust – to avoid probate.