You have a number of decisions to make when you are planning your estate. There are those who think that a last will is the only logical choice, but there are other asset transfer vehicles that can be utilized.
One of them is the revocable living trust.
When you create a revocable living trust, you maintain efficient control of your resources while you are living, and you facilitate timely postmortem transfers.
The person creating the revocable living trust is referred to as the grantor. There is a trustee who administers the trust, and there is a beneficiary who can receive monetary distributions from the trust. It should be noted that there can be multiple beneficiaries, and there could conceivably be multiple trustees.
You do not surrender control of assets that you convey into a revocable living trust. As the grantor of the trust, you may act as the trustee and the beneficiary while you are still alive. It is up to you to decide how the resources will be handled, and you can remove assets from the trust.
When you look at the name of the trust, you can see that it is revocable. You can revoke the trust and the trust would no longer exist. The assets would once again become your direct personal property.
You can retain control of the assets while you are still alive and well, but the point is to ultimately facilitate asset transfers to your heirs. When you create the trust agreement, you name a successor trustee and a successor beneficiary. Once again, you can name multiple beneficiaries, and you could name more than one successor trustee.
After you die, the successor trustee will distribute assets to the successor beneficiary according to your wishes. You leave behind instructions for the trustee to follow when you create your trust agreement.
Avoidance of Probate
When the successor trustee distributes resources to the beneficiary, these distributions will take place outside of the legal process of probate. If you die in direct personal possession of property, probate is a factor. The assets are not distributed to the heirs until after the process of probate has run its course.
Probate can be a time-consuming process. Simple cases can take close to a year, and complex cases can take multiple years. There are also some significant expenses that can add up during probate, and this is all money that could have otherwise gone to the heirs.
Many people become incapacitated late in their lives. There are multiple different causes of incapacity, but Alzheimer’s disease in and of itself is enough to make incapacity planning a must.
This disease strikes up to 45 percent of people who are at least 85. The segment of the population that is between 85 and 94 is growing faster than any other, so this is quite relevant to all of us.
If you do not have a plan in place to address incapacity, the state could be petitioned to appoint a conservator to act on your behalf if you were to become unable to handle your own affairs.
When you have a revocable living trust, there is no need for a conservator. The successor trustee that you name in the trust agreement can be empowered to administer the trust in the event of your incapacitation.
Obtain More Detailed Information
We have provided an outline with regard to the benefits of revocable trusts in this relatively brief blog post. If we have whet your appetite, you can learn a great deal more if you take a moment to download our special report.
This report goes into a great deal of detail, and you will ratchet your knowledge up to another level if you absorb the information that is contained within it. You don’t have to worry about any charges, because this report is being offered to our readers on a complimentary basis at the present time.
To get your copy of the special report on revocable trusts, click this link: Free Living Trust Report.
Take the Next Step
If you are already convinced that you would like to discuss the possibility of the utilization of a revocable living trust with a licensed estate planning attorney, our firm would be glad to answer all of your questions.
Our doors are always open, and as firmly embedded members of the Grand Forks community, we truly care about our neighbors here. To set up a consultation, send us a message through our contact page or give us a call at (701) 738-0060.
- Comprehensive Estate Planning: A Guide to Securing Your Legacy and Honoring Your Wishes - February 22, 2024
- North Dakota Guide to Avoiding Probate - February 20, 2024
- There’s No Better Way to Say “I’ll Be There for You” than with an Estate Plan - February 15, 2024