Do I Need a Revocable Trust?

One of the most common and important estate planning tools is a revocable trust, sometimes called a living trust.  Revocable trusts offer several benefits and can reduce costs and headaches for your loved ones.  Nevertheless, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to estate planning, so whether a revocable trust is the right tool for you will depend on your individual circumstances.

What are the benefits of a revocable trust?

Among other benefits, revocable trusts are often created to achieve the following goals:

  • Avoiding probate: Even simple probate proceedings (court administration of a will after a person dies) can cost thousands of dollars.  While there are other methods to avoid probate, a revocable trust is perhaps the most common tool used for this purpose and can be very effective.
  • Avoiding a Court-Supervised Conservatorship: Establishing and funding a revocable trust may allow you to avoid court intervention if you ever become incapacitated.  Instead of a court-appointed conservator to manage your finances if you become unable, your trustee (whom you have named) will do so according to the instructions you have provided in your trust.
  • Ensuring privacy: Probate proceedings, including asset inventories, are open to the public.  Those wishing to keep their assets and wishes private should strongly consider using a revocable trust.
  • Simplifying administration of your estate: A trust can simplify the management of your assets during and after your death.  This is especially true if you own assets in more than one state.  Without a trust, assets located in more than one state may require separate probate proceedings in each state.
  • Family business succession planning: A revocable trust will allow the trustee or those you designate to continue to manage the family business immediately after your death, instead of waiting on a probate court to determine control of the company.

Is a revocable trust right for me?

Creating a revocable living trust can accomplish many estate planning goals, which is why it is one of the most popular estate planning tools.  However, whether a trust is the best solution for you will depend on your individual circumstances.  To talk to an attorney about a revocable trust, contact Melchert Hubert Sjodin today to schedule a planning session.