As my clients will attest, I encourage everyone to put their financial affairs in order and create a sound estate plan. Although I leave the individual legal advice to competent estate planning attorneys, I am often asked whether there are clear situations when a family should (or should not) form a revocable living trust as part of their estate planning. As with most financial questions, the answer is, “It depends on your specific values and situation.” Distributing assets from a trust has clear advantages over the probate process, including privacy, efficiency, and flexibility. But the reason I hear most often from estate planning attorneys for creating a living trust is to avoid probate. In my experience, unless you have acted as the executor on a family member’s estate and lived through the probate process, most of us don’t have a clear idea of what probate is or why we would want to avoid it. Utah has an excellent courts website with a very thorough page explaining probate in my home state. You may find it educational and interesting (or just a potential cure for insomnia) and can access the page at https://www.utcourts.gov/howto/informalprobate/. Note the section on the small estate affidavit options, which presents the conditions when perhaps a trust may not be worth the cost. If nothing else, hopefully this information reinforces the complexity of estate planning issues and the need to seek qualified professional advice in this area.