Your assets are a collection of valuable and intricate pieces that represent different aspects of your wealth. After your death, whether the pieces consist of real estate, investments, personal items, or liquid assets, it’s important to ensure they come together to protect them from outside influence. Creating a trust is an effective way to ensure this happens. There are different ways to use a trust, but an especially popular type is the revocable living trust–a legal document that allows you to transfer ownership of your assets to a trustee, who will manage and distribute them according to your wishes. Importantly, this trust can be changed or revoked at any time during your lifetime, providing a degree of flexibility and protection.
One of the standout advantages of a revocable living trust is its ability to preserve your privacy. Generally, when you pass away, your will (if you have one) is filed with the probate court. Once this happens, it becomes part of the public record. This means anyone can access your will and learn about your assets and how you’ve decided to distribute them. In contrast, a revocable living trust remains confidential. This means that your assets and the terms of your trust remain private, away from public scrutiny.
Planning for Blended Families
Blended families are the “new” normal and often have unique estate planning needs. Utilizing a revocable living trust can ensure fair asset distribution among all children is possible. You can create separate trusts for each biological child or establish a single trust for all your children. The trustee is responsible for managing the trust assets and distributing them to your children per your instructions. You can also use the trust to provide for your spouse, special needs, or minor children after your passing, granting them a lifetime income from the trust or the right to use specific assets, such as your home.
Planning for Out-of-State Assets
Owning assets in multiple states can feel like juggling balls across different stages. With its unique set of rules, each state can create an intricate dance of legal procedures, especially when out-of-state real estate or a beloved vacation home is part of the mix. The challenge becomes particularly pronounced during probate after one’s passing when these assets are scrutinized.
A revocable living trust emerges as a strategic solution in such scenarios. By placing these diverse assets under the umbrella of this trust, you create a unified management system. The trust ensures that your assets are distributed according to your wishes and sidesteps the need for multiple probate processes across various states.
Important Considerations When Establishing a Revocable Living Trust
Choose a Trustee Carefully: Your choice of trustee is crucial, as they will be responsible for managing your assets and ensuring they are distributed according to your wishes.
Fund the Trust: After creating the trust, you must transfer ownership of your assets into it. This step is essential to ensure that the trust can effectively manage and distribute your property.
Keep the Trust Agreement Up to Date: Regularly review and update your trust agreement to ensure it aligns with your current wishes and circumstances.
How to Get Started
A revocable living trust is a valuable estate planning tool suitable for individuals and families of all kinds. If you’re interested in creating a revocable living trust, it’s essential to consult with an experienced estate planning attorney. The team at Linville Law Office, PLLC can help you understand the advantages of a trust and assist in creating one tailored to your specific needs. To learn more about revocable living trusts and how they can benefit your unique situation, call (704) 323-6712 to schedule a consultation with our skilled legal team and take the first step in securing your financial future. We are conveniently located in south Charlotte for in-office or virtual visits.