A revocable living trust can be a good choice if you want to maintain control of your assets while you are living as you simultaneously facilitate fast and effective postmortem asset transfers.
As the person creating the trust, you can initially act as the trustee. The trustee is the person who handles the business of the trust, so you are the controller while you are alive and well. You can also act as the beneficiary initially, so you are free to receive distributions from assets that have been conveyed into the trust.
The ultimate objective is to get assets into the hands of your loved ones after you pass away, so you name a successor trustee to administer the trust after you die. You could name someone that you are personally acquainted with, but you could alternately choose to use a professional fiduciary.
Trust companies and banks offer trust administration services, and many people find that this is the best choice.
The successor trustee that you choose will follow instructions that you leave behind in the trust declaration. If you want to, you can allow for measured distributions over an extended period of time. This is a benefit that you gain when you use a revocable living trust rather than a last will.
These distributions would take place outside of the legal process of probate. When a will is utilized, it must be admitted to probate, and this is a time-consuming process. Inheritances cannot be distributed until after the process has been completed.
Funding a Revocable Living Trust
When you convey assets into a living trust, you are funding the trust. You must identify the property that you want to place into the trust, and you change the ownership registration, making the trust the owner of the property.
Many people will simply list the property that is being conveyed into the trust in the trust declaration, but you could list this property on a separate document that is called a schedule.
Learn More About Living Trusts
If you would like to obtain more information about revocable living trusts, visit our electronic library of special reports. We have a number of different reports that are available to you free of charge, and there are a couple of different reports that focus on revocable living trusts.
While you are browsing the titles, you may find other topics that are of interest to you. Click this link to gain access to the reports: Free Estate Planning and Elder Law Reports.
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