A revocable trust is an essential estate planning tool that provides flexibility and control over your assets during your lifetime and after your passing. Heritage Law Office, with our experienced estate planning attorney in Wisconsin, is ready to help you navigate the process of setting up a revocable trust tailored to your needs. Contact us either online or at 414-253-8500 to schedule a free consultation today.
Understanding Revocable Trusts in Wisconsin
What is a Revocable Trust?
A revocable trust, also known as a living trust, is a legal entity created by an individual (the grantor) to manage and distribute their assets. The trust can be amended or revoked by the grantor during their lifetime, allowing for flexibility and control over the assets held in the trust.
Benefits of a Revocable Trust
There are several advantages to establishing a revocable trust, including:
- Probate avoidance: Assets held in a revocable trust bypass the probate process, saving time and money for your loved ones.
- Privacy: Unlike a will, a trust is not a public document, keeping your estate details confidential.
- Estate management: A revocable trust allows for seamless management of your assets in the event of incapacity or death.
Setting Up a Revocable Trust in Wisconsin
Choosing a Trustee
Selecting a trustee is a critical step in the process. The trustee is responsible for managing the trust assets and ensuring the proper distribution according to your instructions. You may choose yourself, a family member, or a professional trustee, such as a bank or trust company.
Funding the Trust
After creating the trust document, you will need to transfer your assets into the trust. This process, known as funding, may involve changing the title of real estate, transferring bank accounts, and assigning ownership of other assets to the trust.
Amending or Revoking the Trust
A revocable trust can be amended or revoked at any time during the grantor's lifetime. To make changes, you will need to create a trust amendment or a complete restatement of the trust. To revoke the trust, you must follow specific legal procedures and transfer the assets back to yourself or another individual.
Common Questions About Revocable Trusts in Wisconsin
What Happens to the Trust After the Grantor's Death?
Upon the grantor's death, the trust becomes irrevocable. The successor trustee, named in the trust document, takes over the management and distribution of the trust assets according to the grantor's instructions.
Are Revocable Trusts Taxed Differently?
During the grantor's lifetime, the assets in a revocable trust are subject to income tax and estate tax, as they are considered part of the grantor's taxable estate. However, revocable trusts can offer certain tax benefits, such as avoiding probate-related taxes and fees.
Do I Still Need a Will if I Have a Revocable Trust?
Yes, it is advisable to have a will in addition to a revocable trust. A will, also known as a "pour-over will," ensures that any assets not placed in the trust during your lifetime are transferred into the trust upon your death.
Consult a Kenosha Revocable Trust Attorney
Navigating the complexities of estate planning can be challenging. At Heritage Law Office, our knowledgeable attorney can guide you through the process of creating a revocable trust tailored to your unique needs and circumstances. To discuss your estate planning options, contact us by using the online form or calling us directly at 414-253-8500.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What is a Revocable Trust?
A revocable trust, often referred to as a living trust, is a legal arrangement that allows the creator, known as the grantor, to manage and distribute their assets both during their lifetime and after death. The defining feature of a revocable trust is that it can be altered or revoked by the grantor at any point during their lifetime.
2. What are the benefits of setting up a Revocable Trust?
There are numerous advantages to establishing a revocable trust. These include probate avoidance, which can save your beneficiaries time and money; increased privacy, as unlike a will, a trust is not made public; and efficient estate management, which allows for a smooth transition of asset management in case of the grantor's incapacity or death.
3. How do I set up a Revocable Trust?
The process of setting up a revocable trust involves several steps. First, you will need to choose a trustee who will manage the assets in the trust according to your instructions. Then, you will fund the trust by transferring your assets into it. Once the trust is funded, you can amend or revoke it at any point during your lifetime following specific legal procedures.
4. What happens to a Revocable Trust after the grantor's death?
Upon the death of the grantor, a revocable trust becomes irrevocable. This means it can no longer be altered or terminated. The successor trustee, as named in the trust document, then takes over management of the trust assets and ensures their distribution according to the instructions left by the grantor.
5. Do I still need a Will if I have a Revocable Trust?
Yes, it is generally recommended to have a will in addition to a revocable trust. A type of will known as a "pour-over will" serves to ensure that any assets not placed in the trust during the grantor's lifetime are transferred into the trust upon their death. This way, all of the decedent's assets are consolidated under one estate plan, providing a more streamlined administration process.