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A trust is an arrangement where one person, called a trustee, holds legal title to property for another person, called a beneficiary.  A "living trust"  is simply a trust you create while you're alive.  You can be the trustee of your own living trust, keeping full control over all property held in trust.

Different types of living trusts can help you avoid probate, reduce estate taxes, or set up long-term property management.

The major advantage of a living trust is that property left through the trust doesn't have to go through probate before it reaches the people you want to inherit it.  Seeing that  the average probate lasts for months before the inheritors get anything and can be costly, a living trust makes good sense if warranted by the size of your estate.

Upon your death, property residing in your living trust is transferred to your beneficiaries by your successor trustee -- the person you appoint to handle the trust after your death. In many cases, the whole process can take only a few weeks, and you do not incur any attorney or court fee. Once all of the property has been transferred to the beneficiaries, your living trust will cease to exist.