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What is a Revocable Living Trust?

Revocable trust on a wooden desk

If you have been planning for your assets, and who you’d like them to go to, you’ve probably run across trusts. There are several types of trusts, as well as several reasons why you’d use one to protect your assets, and ensure they go to the right entity. Choosing the right type of trust is vital, as there are significant differences in how they operate. One of the most common versions of a trust is a revocable living trust. 

Are Trusts Important for Estate Planning?

Revocable living trusts can play an important role in your planning for several reasons. If you are looking into end-of-life planning, or are starting the process, it’s important to understand what this kind of trust can do for you, and some of the other types of trusts available. An experienced estate planning attorney who deals in these matters will be sure you are making the decisions best for you. 

There are several options when it comes to trusts. They all serve a specific purpose, depending on your needs. However, there are certain things that all trusts have in common. For instance, you’ll have to name a trustee when establishing a trust, and that person will oversee the trust. In the case of an irrevocable trust, that means the trustee will be the one to ensure that it is followed upon your death, and it cannot be changed. In a living or revocable trust, however, you’ll be able to manage assets and make changes up until the time of your death. Which type is right for you depends on your circumstances, and the reasons behind creating the trust. 

Why Should I Establish a Trust?

A common reason for establishing a revocable living trust is to avoid going to court over an estate after a person dies. This is called probate, and a revocable living trust can bypass that process, making it much easier on families in the aftermath of a death, as well as saving them the money that might be involved with court cases. There are other ways to avoid probate. It is worth exploring those options with an experienced estate planning attorney who can tailor your plan to your specific individual and familial needs. 

Revocable Trust

Revocable living trusts also provide privacy, which may be important to some people. The probate process is publicly available, so any information on your assets could be made public. In a trust, the only people who will have information on your property or assets are the trustee, and possibly the beneficiaries.

Any money or other property you leave for your beneficiaries can be controlled by a revocable living trust long after your death. In a will, the beneficiaries receive the money when you die. In a revocable living trust, you can establish when they get the money, and how much they get, if you set it up in increments. These are especially useful for children who are not able to manage an inheritance properly. 

A living trust can give the trustee the power to control your assets in the case of your incapacitation. This can be comforting for those who anticipate battling a long illness, or for those who are terminally ill. Knowing that a trusted person is looking after your estate can bring great peace of mind. 

Irrevocable Trust

Some trusts, such as an irrevocable trust, can shield your assets from creditors upon your passing. In an irrevocable trust, you’re essentially giving your assets away. Since you no longer own them, there is nothing for creditors to come after. They can also keep money safe from things like lawsuits or other legal haggling over your estate. 

Should I Hire an Estate Planning Lawyer?

If you are considering a revocable living trust, and are starting to look at options, an experienced estate planning attorney can help you make the right decisions for your situation. A revocable living trust can give you the control you are looking for with all the benefits of a trust rolled into it. 

To learn which trust may be right for you, contact The Mattar Firm. Our knowledgeable lawyers will take the time to tailor a plan just for you. Call 239-222-2222 today or submit a contact form on our website.

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