When most people think about planning for the fate of their properties and assets they will likely consider connecting with their attorneys and drafting a will. While there are many good reasons to start a will, a will cannot do everything that a revocable living trust (RLT) can do.
Many estate plans, in fact, include more than one document or legal agreement. If you are considering the future of your assets, it may help you to understand a bit about revocable living trusts and why people choose to create them:
- You have control: The essence of personal control in an RLT is in its name. You and your attorney create one while you are living. The trust is also relatively easy to change or cancel prior to your death, hence its revocability.
- A private matter: Unlike a will, which is a public matter, the nature of a trust is a private one. So if there are property matters you want to conduct without individuals or organizations catching wind of it, you may benefit from a revocable living trust.
- Easy administration: Trusts generally skip the probate process after your death, which can make for an easier estate settlement for your loved ones.
- Helpful to beneficiaries: Speaking of easy administration, setting up a trust for your properties may mean a more helpful process for your beneficiaries. Additionally, they are far more cost-effective for your beneficiaries than what they may experience going through probate.
There are, of course, pitfalls of the RLT. For example, a revocable living trust may not protect your assets from creditors. What’s more, the benefits of an RLT will vary case-by-case. How you and your lawyer approach your estate plan will depend on the properties and assets in question.