Estate planning is an essential task in order to ensure that you are able to preserve the assets you worked hard to earn for yourself and your family. There are many different options you have when it comes to estate planning, each with their own benefits for different given situations. Understanding all the options available can be difficult, but with the assistance from an experienced estate planning attorney, you can work together to devise the plan that works best for your specific situation.
Revocable trusts can be very beneficial in certain cases for estate planning. A revocable trust, also referred to as a “living trust” is important because it can help an individual’s family avoid the hassle of probate. Putting a revocable trust in place will smooth out the transition of passing on assets up death.
A trust is a legal document that grants a “trustee” the power to hold the titles and manage the assets of an individual. However an individual has the ability to revise their trust up until their death. This gives someone the ability to quickly and easily transfer assets, and not be a binding decision that can’t be altered.
Assets placed into a trust generally pass on to heirs much sooner than those designated by a will. This is beneficial because it can cut down the costs and time involved with dealing with probate.
Who can be the trustee of my Revocable Trust?
When you create your trust, you get to choose who will be the trustee. The trustee will be in charge of managing and distributing assets upon incapacitation or death.
The trustee can be any of the following people:
- Corporate Trustee
- Any adult you trust to distribute your assets honestly and correctly
Essentially you have the ability to designate exactly who you want to be in charge of your assets in the trust. Generally, it is a good idea to have a successor trustee in case something happens to both yourself and your trustee.
Does My Revocable Trust End When I Die?
Unlike a will, a trust can continue even after you have passed away. You can have a trust continue to be maintained by the trustee until the assets are distributed at a predetermined time (upon completion of some milestone, after a certain birthday for a grandchild, etc.). As long as a trustee is in place, a revocable trust will not be terminated upon death.
If I Have a Living Trust Do I Still Need a Will?
While a revocable trust is an excellent tool in estate planning, it does not replace the need for a will. A will is helpful in case there are assets that you did not include in the trust, the will can then direct those assets to the correct heir.
The major benefits of having a revocable/living trust in addition to a will is that it will not only cover you in the case of death, but also incapacitation; and, a revocable trust helps to avoid probate.
A revocable trust is a beneficial aspect of an estate plan that should be utilized to best protect your assets. A knowledgeable estate planning attorney can help you best organize and protect your assets for future generations.
Call our Arizona Estate Planning team at (480)467-4325 to discuss your case today.