Revocable Living Trust Lawyer
Both wills and trusts are important estate planning tools that can pass assets on to heirs and beneficiaries. But a will simply determines who gets your property after you pass on; it doesn’t help your loved ones avoid the time and cost of the probate process and courts. A living trust, on the other hand, transfers your assets into the safety of a trust managed by a trustee. Because your property is distributed to the trust while you are living, it allows you to avoid the hassle of probate.
The majority of living trusts are revocable living trusts, which can be modified or terminated during your lifetime. But what are the benefits of creating a revocable trust, and how do you know if it’s right for you? For answers to your questions about estate planning, speak to a Lancaster CA revocable living trust lawyer at Herbert Law Office today.
What Is a Revocable Living Trust?
A revocable living trust is one you create during your lifetime, and can be altered or ended at any time while you’re alive. If you establish one, you are its grantor. Grantors of these trusts often name themselves trustee and primary beneficiary during their lifetime.
As trustee, you will be responsible for administering the trust. This entails tracking income and expenses and paying taxes. If you name yourself trustee, you will also have to appoint a successor trustee. They will take over when you die or become incapacitated.
A revocable living trust documents in writing how you want your assets to be distributed after your death. These assets could include real property and personal property, such as jewelry and cars. It can also include bank accounts, securities, bonds, and other investments.
Upon your death, the assets you put into the trust are conveyed to your designated beneficiaries. Beneficiaries are individuals and organizations you pass your assets on to after you pass.
Will a Revocable Living Trust Work for You?
A revocable living trust is the right estate planning tool for you if you:
- Are young and have only recently begun planning your estate;
- Have assets in multiple states and want to avoid separate probate processes in each state; or
- Have a variety of investments that will be challenging to distribute,such as real estate, art, and investment accounts.
What Are the Benefits of a Revocable Living Trust?
A revocable living trust can provide many benefits:
1. Avoids Probate
If you die with only a will, your assets will have to go through the probate process. This will involve court appearances, legal paperwork, and a court order distributing your assets as you stipulate. You may even subject your loved ones to multiple probate processes if your assets are in different states. This could cost them more time and money that could be better spent elsewhere.
A revocable living trust allows your loved ones to avoid the hassles of going through probate. This translates to a speedier, less costly process of distributing your assets to beneficiaries.
Avoiding probate with a revocable living trust also provides you and your beneficiaries greater privacy. The probate process is open to the public. So, the inventory of assets, notifications, payments to creditors, and distribution to beneficiaries are all done in public view. Everyone could have access to the terms of your will and listings of your beneficiaries and assets.
By establishing a revocable living trust, your estate will be distributed in private. This protects both the privacy of your assets and your beneficiaries.
2. Protects Your Assets If You Become Incapacitated
Assets in a revocable living trust continue to be protected in the event that you become mentally incapacitated. At the time you become incapacitated, a successor trustee automatically takes over and manages the trust. The trustee will be someone you can entrust with your assets and appointed when you set up the trust.
Revocable living trusts also provide the terms of guardianship for your children in case you become incapacitated. The terms can specify where your minor children live, who cares for them, and what they can spend.
3. Provides the Most Flexibility
Of all the estate planning tools available to you, a revocable living trust is the most flexible. It can be modified or terminated at any time as many times as you wish. So, if your financial or family situations change, your trust can change with them. If you want to appoint another trustee or add or remove beneficiaries, you have that option.
4. Provides Protections and Tax Benefits
Assets in a revocable living trust are protected by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). This means that money you keep in the trust’s bank account is insured by the FDIC.
Funds in a revocable living trust are also protected from creditors of your beneficiaries. Note that this protection does not apply to you as the trust’s grantor.
A revocable living trust can reduce state taxes if you live in a state that imposes its own estate tax. Note, however, that no such benefit exists for federal estate taxes and other taxes imposed during your lifetime.
Speak to a Lancaster CA Revocable Living Trust Lawyer
If you think a revocable living trust might work for you, a Lancaster CA trust attorney at Herbert Law Office can help. We can help you draft a trust that addresses your needs and goals. To learn more about the best way to plan your estate, contact us today.