Why You Should Have A Revocable Living Trust As Part Of Your Estate Plan

 

 If you do not have an estate plan, you should.  Everyone needs an estate plan.  Estate planning is not only for “old” or “retired” people, although many people think about estate planning more as they grow older.  No one can predict how long they will live and accidents and illnesses can happen to people of all ages and at any time.  Also, estate planning is not only for “wealthy” people, as people with modest assets have many of the same estate planning needs as “wealthy” people.  So if you do not have an estate plan in place, I encourage you to contact an estate planning professional to assist you in developing your own personalized estate plan.

 

 If you do have an estate plan in place, then good for you.  Hopefully, your estate plan includes a revocable living trust.  If not, then in most cases it should.  Many people choose a revocable living trust instead of relying only on a will or joint tenancy ownership of property in their estate planning.  A properly prepared revocable living trust funded with your assets can provide many benefits to you, your spouse and beneficiaries.

 

 Below is a partial list of potential benefits of having a properly drafted and funded revocable living trust as part of your estate plan:

 

(1) Avoids the time and expense of probate upon your death, which is the benefit that convinces most people to set up a revocable living trust.

(2) If you have assets in more than one state, avoids multiple probates in the states you have assets at the time of your death.

(3) Administration of your estate is much more efficient.

(4) Provides for privacy by avoiding public court processes and filings.  In a probate, your will becomes a court document available for public viewing.

(5) Can be extremely flexible and allows all of your assets to be under a coordinated estate plan.

(6) If you desire, allows you to keep assets in the trust until your beneficiaries attain certain ages.

(7) Can provide protection from creditors of trust beneficiaries.

(8) You can amend or revoke the trust at any time.

(9) If needed, can contain provisions to reduce or eliminate state and/or federal estate taxes.

(10) Can provide special provisions in the trust for beneficiaries with special needs.

(11) Deals with issues while you are living as well as upon your death, while a will only deals with issues upon your death.

(12) You have total control while you are living and can dictate how the assets are to be held in trust or distributed upon your death.

(13) Allows for management of your assets upon your incapacity.

(14) Less likely to be contested than a will.

(15) Gives you peace of mind and minimizes family stress upon your death.

 

 While initially it may be a little more costly to have an estate plan with a properly drafted revocable living trust, the extra cost is well worth it.  When comparing the cost of an estate plan without a revocable living trust, please keep in mind that the true cost of an estate plan with only a will should include the costs of probate upon your death.

 When considering the above, it is clear why most people who are aware of the benefits of revocable living trusts make sure to include a revocable living trust in their estate plan.

 If you have any questions regarding revocable living trusts or other estate planning matters, please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

The information in this article is not legal advice, and you should not take any action based on information you find in this article without first consulting qualified legal counsel concerning the facts and circumstances of your situation. No attorney-client relationship is established by reading this article.

 

 

The information in this article is not legal advice, and you should not take any action based on information you find in this article without first consulting qualified legal counsel concerning the facts and circumstances of your situation. No attorney-client relationship is established by reading this article.