A common misconception is that trusts are only for the ultra-wealthy. The truth is that trusts can be a valuable tool for anyone with assets to protect. At Heritage Law Office, we frequently use revocable trusts in our estate planning practice. But what exactly is a revocable trust? Read on to find out.
What is a Revocable Trust?
A revocable trust, also known as a living trust, is a legal document that allows you to transfer assets to someone else—called a trustee—to hold and manage for your benefit. You can name yourself as the trustee, which gives you complete control over the trust assets during your lifetime. And, if you become incapacitated or pass away, the successor trustee you named in the trust document will step in to manage the assets according to your instructions.
A revocable trust is often used by people who want to maintain control over their assets during their lifetime, but who also want to ensure that their beneficiaries receive those assets after they pass away. Revocable trusts are popular because they offer flexibility and peace of mind. For example, if the grantor becomes incapacitated, the trustee can step in and manage the trust on their behalf. And if the grantor wants to change the terms of the trust, they can do so at any point. Ultimately, revocable trusts offer a way to keep your assets safe and secure, while still maintaining control over them.
What are the Advantages of a Revocable Trust?
There are several advantages of using a revocable trust to convey property upon death, including:
- Avoiding Probate. Revocable trusts can avoid probate, which is a court proceeding that can be costly and time-consuming. Wills are specifically designed to go through the probate process.
- Planning for Special Needs. Trusts can be used to provide for minors or persons with special needs without subjecting them to guardianship proceedings or disqualifying them from government benefits.
- Flexibility. Trusts offer more flexibility than wills in terms of how and when assets are distributed to beneficiaries. For example, with a trust, you can choose to give part of an inheritance to a family member only when they reach age 30.
- Amendable. Revocable trusts can be revoked or amended at any time during your lifetime, which gives you complete flexibility in how you manage your assets.
Should I Get a Revocable Trust or a Will?
Deciding whether to create a revocable trust or a will is an important decision that will have lasting implications for your estate. Both documents can help to ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes, but they differ in some key ways.
A will is a legally binding document that requires the assistance of a probate court to take effect. In contrast, a revocable trust becomes effective while you are alive, and upon your death, your assets can be distributed without the need for court involvement. This simplification of distributing your assets can help to avoid delays and expenses.
Another key difference is that a will is a matter of public record, while a revocable trust remains private. Any person can look up the details of your will after your passing. With a trust, this information is kept private.
Finally, trusts give you much more control than a will over how and when your beneficiaries receive their distribution.
The more complex your estate, the more likely you are to benefit from a trust. However, a simple estate does not mean you cannot benefit from a trust. As you weigh your options, it's important to consult with an experienced estate planning attorney to determine which option is best for you and your family.
Contact an Experienced Trust Attorney Today
Are you worried about what will happen to your estate when you pass away or upon your incapacitation? Heritage Law Office can help you create a revocable trust that will ensure your assets are distributed the way you want them to be. We can also help you with other estate planning needs, so you can rest easy knowing your loved ones are taken care of after you're gone.
A revocable trust is a great way to protect your estate from probate and ensure it goes to the people or charities you choose. Let us help you create one today – it's easier than you think!
If you're looking for an estate planning tool that can provide asset protection and flexibility, a revocable trust may be right for you. Contact Heritage Law Office today by sending us a message or calling 414-253-8500 to speak with one of our experienced Trust Attorneys about setting up a revocable trust for your unique situation.