Creating a revocable living trust in Grand Forks is one the best decisions you can make when deciding to create an estate plan. These tools afford significant benefits, many of which are not available to you if you decide not to include one in your plan. However, a lot of people are hesitant to create revocable living trust because of the property control issues they believe are present. In short, people believe that by creating a revocable living trust they will hand over control of their property to the trustee.
While this fear isn’t exactly unfounded, it is largely overblown. To understand why, let’s take a closer look at these important estate planning tools.
Your Trust and Your Property
It’s best to think of a revocable living trust as a legal entity, like a corporation or limited liability company. This legal entity has the right to own property. When you create a revocable living trust, you transfer your property into the name of the trust, and the trust actually becomes the new legal owner. The property you choose to transfer is entirely up to you, but ensuring that your trust owns as much of your property as possible is usually the best way to use these tools.
Your Trust and Your Trustee
As with a company, someone has to run or manage the revocable living trust. That person is known as the trustee. When you create your revocable living trust you get to decide who this trustee is. Once that person agrees to the position, he or she has a duty to manage the trust property responsibly.
You, The Trustee
Entrusting a trustee to manage trust property is what gives most people pause. However, many of these people quickly lose their fears once they realize that they will serve as their own trustee. When you create a revocable living trust you typically choose yourself as the trustee. So, not only will you create the device and decide on its terms, you will also have the responsibility to manage it. In short, you will control your property at every step of the trust creation and management process.
Living trusts also afford you the ability to choose someone who will manage the trust should you become incapacitated or die. This person, known as a successor trustee, can be anyone you like. One of the reason revocable living trusts are so advantageous is because by choosing your successor trustee you avoid the requirement of your family having to go through probate court and asking the court to appoint a guardian or conservator. This essentially means that the revocable living trust allows you more control over your property than simple property ownership would.
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