Estate Planning and the Revocable Living Trust

Planning for the Future

Most individuals and families struggle with the best option when it comes to estate planning, and often end up asking “do we need a trust?” This answer depends on several factors, and may be the best option for you and yours depending on the complexities of your estate, and what you are looking to accomplish.

About Revocable Trusts

A trust is created when a “grantor,” or the trust creator, sets up the trust and appoints a trustee. The grantor places assets into or titles assets as trust property that will be handled, governed, and distributed by the terms of the written trust agreement. Most living trusts are set up to be revocable, meaning they can be amended and/or revoked completely during the lifetime of the grantor depending on the individual’s needs.

Avoiding Probate

A specific benefit can be to keep assets out of “probate,” thereby limiting the potential delay and costs associated with the traditional estate administration process. Probate can take a substantial amount of time and is a process whereby there are publicly available filings of personal estate information and disclosures as to estate assets.

Creating the Right Estate Plan

A will is a useful instrument in the event an estate can easily be distributed without much complication. In the event you are in need of a more dynamic planning tool, a revocable trust can be valuable and permit the grantor increased protection of assets to third parties, creditors, or other outside interference. While a will is a one time distribution made through the probate courts, a trust permits the trustee more latitude and ability to marshall assets and allocate resources of the trust over a longer period of time to ensure the wishes of the grantor are met.

Ashwell & Ashwell can Help

Speak with the attorneys at Ashwell & Ashwell to determine what is best for you and how we can help.