Establishing a Revocable Living Trust
An Arizona Attorney Can Help You Protect Your Assets – While most people think of estate planning as largely comprised of writing a last will and testament, there are other options for protecting your assets. Increasingly popular is a revocable living trust, which allows you to avoid many of the issues associated with probate as well as have greater control over how your estate is distributed.
A revocable living trust differs from an irrevocable one in that it can be altered during your lifetime by adding or removing assets. Irrevocable trusts are set in stone once they are completed, and the assets in the trust can’t be touched. By contrast, revocable living trusts, once created, can still be added to, changing along with your circumstances, until death, at which point the trust becomes irrevocable.
Trusts are created by trustors and managed by trustees, who are named in the document. Often, the trustor and initial trustee are the same person, allowing an individual control in creating and managing the document. The duties of a trustee can be shared, which is often the case for married couples, who manage the trust as co-trustees. As long as these initial trustees are alive, they have sole power over the trust. In the case of the initial trustee’s incapacitation or death, power transfers to the named successor trustees.
Benefits of a Living Trust
Revocable living trusts can protect a number of assets, including
- Property and real estate
- Bank accounts
- Personal assets like jewelry or heirlooms
In fact, while the initial trustees are alive, some of their duties can include making investments with the assets in the trust. They can also manage real estate and make any necessary purchases, and are the beneficiaries of these transactions. This is one of the most attractive benefits of a revocable living trust, since it allows a large amount of control over assets during the trustee’s lifetime.
Perhaps the most popular aspect of a revocable living trust is avoiding many of the headaches of the probate process. This is because any assets held within the living trust upon the death of the initial trustee(s) are exempt from probate. Assets that go through probate can’t be distributed until the will is declared legitimate, debts and taxes are paid, and there are no further complications, meaning beneficiaries have to wait until the process is completed before receiving their inheritance. By contrast, as soon as the initial trustee(s) passes away, named beneficiaries and successor trustees can directly access assets held in trust. And because probate is avoided, a revocable living trust can also avoid certain taxes on assets as well.
Create a Living Trust Today
Due to the flexibility of a revocable living trust, it can be established at any time if you have assets you want to protect. Like many estate planning matters, you don’t have to wait until you’re in your golden years to prepare your affairs. In fact, revocable living trusts are designed to allow trustees to actively manage the trust and its assets. An experienced estate planning attorney can guide you through the process of establishing a living trust, tailoring it to your needs.
Representation in a Variety of Estate Planning Matters
If you’re interested in creating a revocable living trust, why not also consider setting up the rest of your estate plan? In fact, many other estate planning documents work in conjunction with a living trust, such as a pour over will. The attorneys at Bellah Perez handle a number of these other estate planning matters, including:
- Creating Wills and Trusts
- Drafting Powers of Attorney
- Providing Representation in Conservatorships and Guardianships
- Providing Representation in Probate Matters
- Drafting Beneficiary Deeds