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What is a Revocable Living Trust?
A Revocable Living Trust (“RLT”) is an estate planning option, similar to a Will, which allows you to direct your property after you die. A trust allows you to place your assets in trust while continuing to use and control them. After you die, then your assets are distributed to the beneficiaries of the trust according to your wishes.
Why choose a Revocable Living Trust?
No Probate. A trust is different from a will, because it does not require probate, which is expensive and time-consuming.
Incapacity. A trust, unlike a will, protects you should you become mentally incapacitated. Because your assets are already owned and controlled by the trust, conservatorship by the court is likely unnecessary.
Privacy. Trusts do not go through Probate, and are therefore, not subject to public disclosure. This allows the terms, assets, and beneficiaries to remain private.
Control. A Revocable Living Trust allows you to remain in complete control of your assets during your lifetime. After you die the distribution of the assets are governed by the terms of the trust, so you even remain in control after your death. You can even distribute your assets to minor children and grandchildren at specific ages, unlike a will, which distributes your assets after probate is complete.
When I re-title or assign my assets to the Revocable Living Trust am I giving up control of my assets? Absolutely Not!
While you are alive, as long as you are mentally competent, you may amend or change your RLT as often as you like. You may live in your home and spend your money as you normally would. If you designate yourself as the Trustee, which is typical, you remain in control of the trust assets. Only if you become mentally incapacitated or deceased will the person you appointed step in as trustee and manage the trust. They will be limited in their management to the directions that you have provided in the trust.
Who needs a Trust?
Contrary to public opinion, trusts are not reserved for the wealthy. Depending on your particular situation, a RLT can be a relatively inexpensive way to prevent your beneficiaries from having to deal with the hassles of probate while maintaining control of your assets.
At Gunther Law Group, our attorneys understand that making a trust is a personal matter. Because of our understanding and experience, we take the time with each client to fully understand their objectives for their trust. We then use the information that you share to craft a customized estate plan to meet your objectives.