It is sometimes necessary to litigate such matters as the appointment of a successor trustee, modification of a trust, disagreements over a trustee’s powers and actions, and the rights of beneficiaries. These matters are ordinarily heard by the probate court.
Sometimes, an individual receiving government assistance such as SSI or Medicaid is due to receive life insurance proceeds, wrongful death proceeds, settlement proceeds from a lawsuit, or an inheritance. If such proceeds are paid straight to the individual, he or she will be disqualified from any further benefits until the proceeds are nearly exhausted. If those monies go into a special needs trust as directed by the Probate Court, the government benefits can be protected.
A revocable living trust allows a person to transfer his or her assets into a trust, which normally specifies in the trust document that said assets will be used to pay the person’s living expenses for the rest of his life. At his death, all assets remaining in the trust would be distributed as specified in the trust document, without the necessity of going through probate. The trust document is confidential and is not filed with the court. The person would still need to sign a will for any property that he may own at death which had not previously been transferred into the trust.