Understanding the Basics of a Revocable Living Trust
A revocable living trust is a legal document that holds your assets and property. You, as the trust creator (grantor), typically appoint yourself as the trustee, maintaining full control over the assets in the trust during your lifetime. You can make changes, add or remove assets, and manage your trust’s affairs as you see fit. This key feature distinguishes it from an irrevocable trust, where control over the assets is relinquished.
Control During Your Lifetime
One of the most significant advantages of a revocable living trust is the level of control you maintain during your lifetime. As the trustee, you can buy, sell, or transfer assets within the trust at your discretion. You can even dissolve the trust entirely if you wish. This level of control is especially important if you want to maintain flexibility in managing your assets for the future.
With a revocable living trust, you have complete control over how your assets are managed. You will appoint a successor trustee to take over if you become incapacitated or when you pass away. This ensures that your assets are managed according to your wishes, even if you’re no longer able to do so yourself.
Living Trust- Control in Case of Incapacity
One of the key benefits of a revocable living trust is the provision for handling your assets in the event of your incapacity. You can specify who will take over as the successor trustee, ensuring that your financial affairs are managed according to your instructions if you’re unable to do so. This level of control is a significant advantage over a will, which cannot provide the same immediate and seamless transition of control in the event of incapacity.
A revocable living trust allows you to bypass the probate process, which is often lengthy and expensive. By holding your assets in the trust, you maintain control over their distribution, and they can be transferred directly to your beneficiaries upon your passing. This control ensures that your assets are distributed as you intended, without court interference.
Another aspect of control that a revocable living trust provides is privacy. Probate proceedings are typically public, meaning anyone can access your will and details about your assets. With a trust, this information remains private, giving you greater control over who has access to your financial affairs.
Potential Living Trust Challenges
While a revocable living trust offers substantial control during your lifetime, it’s essential to understand that control may diminish after your passing. Once you’re no longer around, the trust becomes irrevocable, and the successor trustee must follow the terms and instructions outlined in the trust document. This means that control shifts from you to the trust document and its provisions.
In summary, a revocable living trust does not lead to a loss of control during your lifetime. In fact, it offers a high degree of flexibility and control, allowing you to manage your assets, provide for your loved ones in the event of incapacity, and avoid the probate process. However, it’s important to recognize that control may change once you pass away, as the trust becomes irrevocable, and the successor trustee must adhere to the trust’s terms. If maintaining control and flexibility during your lifetime is your priority, a revocable living trust can be an excellent choice for your estate planning needs. However, it’s crucial to work with a qualified estate planning attorney to create a trust that aligns with your specific goals and wishes.
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Ethan Baker, Mayor of Troy
Estate Planning Lawyer
The Law Offices of Barton Morris
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