Many people starting out on their estate planning journey find themselves wondering whether they need to include a trust as part of their plan. Revocable living trusts are the most common form of trust and offer many significant benefits. Understanding the ins and outs of this important estate planning tool will help you decide whether to consider including a trust in your plan.
What Exactly is a Revocable Living Trust?
Technically speaking, a revocable living trust is one form of a trust, which is an entity that holds assets for the benefit of someone else. A revocable living trust is a trust that is created during the lifetime of the person forming the trust and can be changed or terminated by that person while he or she is still alive. The creator of the trust is often called the donor, settlor, trustor, or grantor. The trustee of the trust is in control of the assets, subject to the terms of the trust provisions. In many cases, when the donor passes away, the trust becomes irrevocable and the assets are either distributed or held for the benefit of the beneficiaries.
5 Things a Revocable Living Trust Can Do For Your MA or NH Estate Plan
Now that you know what a revocable living trust is, how do you know whether you need one? Consider some of the most common benefits of this popular estate planning tool:
- Assets held in a revocable trust avoid the need for probate administration. This can save time, money, and hassle for your loved ones after you pass away.
- Assets do not have to be distributed right away after you die. If you have young children or beneficiaries who you do not want to receive assets immediately after you pass, the assets can be held in trust and managed by the trustee in nearly any manner that you see fit.
- If you become incapacitated, the successor trustee of your trust can quickly and easily step in to manage the assets held in the trust, avoiding the need for court involvement.
- Revocable trusts can simplify the administration of your estate. After you pass away, your loved ones will have a lot of work to do gathering, managing, and distributing your estate. Revocable trusts can significantly simplify this process by avoiding court involvement, keeping all of the assets in one place, and clearly dictating the process for managing and distributing the assets.
- Enjoy estate planning benefits without giving up any control. One of the most significant benefits of revocable living trusts is that they can be changed or revoked at any time, as you see fit. You remain in control while you are alive and well.
While a revocable living trust offers many benefits, an experienced Exeter estate planning attorney can help you decide whether this tool is right for you. We encourage you to contact us today for more information and guidance. Call our office at (603) 434-1770 to schedule a consultation.