As we get older, one thing becomes clear. We must create a will or trust for the sake of our estate and our family. Without specific clauses in place, your property and valuables may not go to the people you hope, or the bank could take them. Setting up a will or trust ensures that your loved ones are taken care of and your estates are given to the proper people. With the many different options of wills and trusts to choose from, it could get difficult to see which one is best for you.

The option of a revocable living trust is one that many may not know to take advantage of. Also known simply as a revocable trust, many benefits can help both the one creating the trust and their family members. At the end of the day, a will and trust should be the best way to represent someone’s intentions after they pass. The method they choose to document their choices should be fair to all involved.

What is a Revocable Living Trust?

Compared to an average living will or trust, a revocable living trust is a legal document that allows you to create clauses for when you are still alive and well, alive but incapacitated, and then after passing. Within a revocable trust, you as the granter or trust maker can decide upon any competent adult as a trustee. Many may choose family, but others may prefer a bank or trust company. Once the trust is created, you can place assets such as bank accounts, property, or stocks in the account.

One of the most significant advantages of a revocable trust compared to others is that after the assets are put in place, you have the ability to change or fix any clauses after the fact. A revocable living trust allows you to create a sound document while giving you the chance to live your life without the fear of the wrong items going to the wrong people.

Avoiding Probate

Probate is the legal process of going through one’s assets after they pass away. Probate is the legal process of the court’s analysis of the value and distribution of assets and property left by a deceased person. The often lengthy judicial process proves that a will can be a drawn out and contentious process for many families. The longer that probate court lasts, the higher the cost becomes for the family from court and legal fees. By creating a revocable trust, your family can avoid probate altogether. Not only can this save them money, but it can also save the heartache that comes with putting your estate and valuables on full display and having external parties assign value to them while determining who eventually gets what.

Whoever you have chosen as your trustee will pass down your assets to your beneficiaries without having to wait for a court order. Your family and friends will not need to go through months of court discussions and money`

Adaptable and Changeable

In one year we may see babies being born, divorce, job changes, and so much more happening within our family’s lives. Having the option to change and adapt the trustees can be beneficial. With a revocable trust, you are able to go back and update any estates or beneficiaries without issue.

Other living trusts and wills only take effect once the trust maker has passed and will not allow for any changes before or after. This could lead to the wrong people earning estates or money going to the incorrect bank. With a revocable living trust initiating right as you sign it, to the point it is handed to your family, there is no doubt that unique situations may arise and life changes may occur and you may want to take a second look. Thankfully, a trust like this one allows the granter to make amendments.

Privacy Protection

The deceased’s financials and records are an open book to courts and family members during the probate process. Since documents about estates and valuables are placed into public records when creating a will, there is no limit to who may be able to see your private information.

You are already getting ahead of probate with a revocable trust and establishing who will get what and where estates are going. By doing so, your financial statements and other records will be closed to anyone you do not wish to see them.

Eliminates Family Troubles

A will and standard trust may seem very open for interpretation, and once the probate process comes, your family may not like what they are reading. With the option of a revocable trust, you are able to have access to the trust through every step, and it may not blindside your family and friends as much as a simple will.

If you have any questions on specific wills and trusts or want to know more about the next steps, contact the Hartmann Law Team or give us a call at (816) 599-6638.