When you are only going to be doing something once you are not going to be able to call on the benefit of experience to help you along, so you generally have to engage the services of a specialist. Estate planning falls into this category, and though everyone is aware of the fact that assets are traditionally transferred after death through a will, there are other legal instruments that are worth considering as well. One of these is the revocable living trust, and more and more people are recognizing that a trust can be a very valuable addition to their estate plan.
Most people plan their estates with two primary objectives in mind. First, they want their assets to be passed along to their heirs simply and efficiently with minimal red tape or hassles. Secondly, they want to devise a plan that protects their assets so that they don’t lose value as they are being passed along. When you use a will to define the terms of your estate, it has to go through the legal process of probate. There are protections that probate provides that are useful, however, it does hinder accomplishment of these two overarching objectives. Probate is a bureaucratic and time consuming affair, and it is also costly so it reduces the value of your estate.
Creating a revocable living trust can help you achieve the goals of asset protection and efficient transference. You simply fund the trust and name yourself as the trustee while selecting a person, multiple people, or an entity such as a bank to serve as the successor trustee. You also name beneficiaries. Since it is indeed revocable, you can alter the trust or even dissolve it if circumstances change. In the event of your passing, the successor trustee administers the trust and distributes the assets therein to your heirs according to your stated wishes. Through the use of a revocable living trust the estate can bypass the probate process.
Revocable living trusts are very useful vehicles that make a lot of sense for many people. If you would like to discuss the possibility of creating a living trust, please give us a call at (800) 295-1917 to arrange for a free consultation.