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than they do for a testamentary trust. Third, if you later decide to use your living trust to avoid probate or to have someone else manage your assets, all you have to do is transfer your assets because the documentation is already in place. Finally, a Will is a public document, whereas a living trust is not. While that may not be a compelling reason to go with a living trust, it is yet another reason that weighs in favor of the living trust. So, if you're not concerned about dying or becoming incapacitated, then your estate plan is still likely to include a living trust as a complement to a Will. Still, a living trust in this case is very likely to remain unfunded (i.e., "dry") until you reach the age where death and incapacity loom much greater in your overall perspective on life. In summary, a large percentage of living trusts are created solely to provide for minor children or others after the death of the grantor, without any intention of funding them during the grantor's lifetime. These so-called "dry trusts" have formed the backbone of estate plans for years and years, and it is only recently that the concept of funding a living trust to avoid probate has come into vogue.

Attorney Michael Pancheri is a practicing attorney and the founder and CEO of the Living Trust Network. You may contact him by email at You may also contact him at the Living Trust Network's web site. Its URL is Copyright 2005. The Living Trust Network, LLC.

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