The living trust is an estate planning tool that is often overlooked by people who assume that a last will is the only way to go. However, you gain many benefits when you use a living trust, even if you are not wealthy, so you should be aware of the facts before you make any final decisions.
Versatility and Control
People sometimes think that when you create a trust, you are doing so with a note of finality. The idea is that everything is going to be permanently set in stone, and you will surrender control of the assets. With a revocable living trust, these assumptions are simply untrue.
With you establish a living trust, you can act as the trustee initially, so you administer the trust while you are alive and well. If you are married, it is possible to create a joint living trust. If you go this route, you and your spouse would act as co-trustees.
The trust was created to facilitate asset transfers after you pass away, so you name a successor trustee to administer the trust after you are gone. If you and your spouse have a joint living trust, the surviving spouse would typically act as the sole trustee after the passing of one spouse.
When you create a living trust on your own, you would name a successor trustee to administer the trust after your death. Your first thought may be that you have to identify someone that you know who would be an appropriate trust administrator. You can go this route if you want to, but it can be difficult to identify someone who is qualified, willing, and capable. Plus, there can be longevity concerns, and there can also be conflicts of interest.
To overcome these obstacles, you could use a corporate entity like a bank or a trust company. These professional fiduciaries provide trust administration services, and you can be sure that the trust will be administered in accordance with professional standards if you use a corporate trustee.
We should point out the fact that the successor trustee could also be empowered to administer the trust in the event of your incapacitation. This is a very relevant benefit, because a significant percentage of elders become unable to handle their own affairs at some point in time.
Free Report on Living Trusts
If you would like to learn more about living trusts, we invite you to download our special report on the value of these trusts. The report is free, and you can access your copy quickly and easily through this website.
To obtain your copy of the report, visit this page and follow the simple instructions: Living Trust Report.
Schedule a Consultation
Our firm offers free consultations, and we would be glad to answer your questions about living trusts in person. Send us a message through this page to set up an appointment: Indianapolis IN Estate Planning Attorneys.
Mr. Kraft assists clients primarily in the areas of estate planning and administration, Medicaid planning, federal and state taxation, real estate and corporate law, bringing the added perspective of an accounting background to his work.