Revocable living trusts can offer a number of benefits over standalone wills. The idea of an irrevocable trust can be frightening for some, as it is not easily altered once it exists. Revocable trusts are more flexible and can accomplish quite a few different goals. These trusts can generally be administered rather smoothly and with little or no court oversight. Many people prefer to use this type of flexible trust as their main testamentary document. Before you choose a type of trust, make sure that you speak with an attorney and discuss the goals you want to accomplish and your financial situation. A qualified estate planning lawyer can help you decide whether a revocable living trust is the right estate planning tool for you.
What Are the Benefits of a Revocable Living Trust?
Some advantages of using this type of trust include:
- Avoiding probate – Probate can be a long, complicated process. Your beneficiaries may have a difficult time, especially if there are any hiccups during the probate process. More complex probate situations need to be handled by an attorney, unless your personal representative is rather experienced.
- Privacy – Wills are public documents. Trusts are not. Anyone can look at a will that has been submitted to a probate court, but only those who might have an interest in the trust can view the trust document.
- Flexibility – An irrevocable trust can have good asset protection features, but in most cases, it is permanent and unchangeable. With a revocable trust, you have the freedom to alter it or revoke it. You can add, remove, or change beneficiaries. You can move property in and out of the trust if you need to.
- Quick administration – Since you do not need to wait for a probate court – or any other court – to act, your estate property will be available to your beneficiaries very quickly.
- Security – To probate a will, someone must have the original will you executed. This is not true with trusts – even if the original gets lost or destroyed, or your beneficiaries forget where you put it, a copy will suffice.
- Continuity of management – It is quite common for a successor trustee to take over managing the trust well before the grantor has passed away. Should you become incapacitated, your successor trustee should be able to start managing the fund immediately and continue managing it after you pass away. If your trust principal is being used for investing or anything of that nature, there will be no interruption in management when you pass away.
These are just a few benefits of a revocable living trust. Contact Vancouver Wills and Trusts today for a FREE consultation.