As you get older, it’s important to have an estate plan in place to make sure you can easily distribute your asset and property to your family and loved ones after you pass away. A revocable living trust is an estate planning tool that helps you protect assets and safeguard your family’s future. If you’re thinking of establishing a trust, consult an estate planning attorney to prepare your estate planning documents and see how it fits into your estate plan.
What is a revocable trust?
A trust agreement is an estate planning tool that describes how your trust estate is going to be administered after you die. Similar to wills, you can name the beneficiaries of the trust and provide detailed instruction about which trust beneficiary gets certain trust property and assets. The trust-fund, assets, and real-property in an established trust are distributed after the trustor becomes deceased or incapacitated.
Revocable trusts are called living trusts because these are established while you, the grantor, are still alive. In a trust arrangement, the title to trust assets and property are transferred to the trust itself and are managed by the trustee.
Transferring the deeds and titles prevent assets held in trust from being probated. Probate is the legal process of verifying a last will and testament and administering a person’s estate. In most cases, the probate process can be costly and take a lot of time, making estate administration difficult for your family members. A family trust is a common way to avoid probate while making sure your last wishes are followed.
A reliable trust attorney can help you establish a trust that makes the trust administration process easier for your family.
What’s the difference between revocable and irrevocable trusts?
Living trusts (or inter vivos trust) can either be revocable or irrevocable. Since you can designate yourself as the trustee, revocable living trusts let you modify or revoke the trust anytime. For example, you can remove a trust beneficiary or include other heirs even after you set up a trust. You can also change which trust funds go to which beneficiary of a trust, and how you want the successor trustee to administer your estate and make distributions when you die.
This isn’t the case for an irrevocable living trust. After naming trust beneficiaries, you won’t be able to change who can inherit the assets and property in a trust account without getting their permission. Since you need to transfer ownership of assets and property in trust and you can’t appoint yourself as the trustee of an irrevocable trust, you no longer have full control over the trust and estate.
A trust and estate planning attorney can help you choose the types of trusts that best fits your needs, whether it’s for avoiding probate, asset protection, or dealing with estate taxes.
How do you create a trust?
If you’re ready to set up a grantor trust, the first step is collecting the relevant trust documents. Take inventory of your personal property and assets you want to be held in trust. Note that you may need to contact your bank and update your life insurance policies after you established a trust.
The next step in setting up a trust is to decide which family-member (such as a surviving spouse, children, and grandchildren) or loved ones you wish to name as beneficiaries. You also need to assign trustees who’ll be responsible for distributing your estate. Lastly, you should lay out specific instructions for trust administration and tax liability
An experienced trust and estate planning lawyer can prepare the legal document and help you create a trust.
Do I need a lawyer to make a simple trust?
As you get older, it becomes more and more important to have measures in place in the event of death or incapacity. Having trusts and wills as part of your estate plan helps you protect your family’s future. Our experienced estate planning attorneys at Jones Legacy Law can provide legal assistance in establishing a trust and ensure that your estate plan protects your family, assets, and wealth. Contact us to get started on your estate plan today!