If you’re in the early stages of estate planning, you may be trying to determine whether to establish a will or a revocable living trust. Ultimately this decision will need to be driven based on what it is you’re wanting to accomplish.
Unlike an irrevocable trust, which would involve your needing to turn over ownership of your assets to the trust (and the trustee) forever, a revocable living trust isn’t as rigid. If you change your mind in the future, this type of trust can be undone. If there is something about the trust that you want to change in next month or next year, you’ll be able to make those changes.
A revocable living trust can help you avoid probate
Probate can be as time consuming as it is stressful. (Fun fact: Aretha Franklin dies without an estate plan, which means all of her assets will remain in probate until her estate is settled by the court.)
Probate is often a long and drawn-out process, that in some cases, can take years to resolve. If someone dies without a last will and testament or an estate plan, their assets will wind up in probate until the court is able to pass those assets onto heirs and beneficiaries.
When you work with a reputable estate planning attorney to establish a revocable living trust, probate can be avoided. This type of trust establishes a contract between two parties, the trust maker (ie: the person who sets up the trust) and the grantor, which is the person who will be charged with managing the trust.
In most cases, the trust maker and the grantor will be the same person.
This type of trust will also help you to establish a successor trustee, who will step in to manage the trust at the time the grantor dies. The successor trustee will then be charged with settling the trust in addition to distributing the property of the trust maker according to a set of pre-defined wishes.
It can address mental incapacity
Another benefit of a revocable living trust is that it can help the trust maker make plans for their estate in the evet they become mentally incapacitated in the future. This can be especially important to people who have a family history of dementia and/or Alzheimer’s disease.
If you’re unable to manage the trust yourself, your successor trustee will be able to step in, and they’ll use your trust documents to as a map for how you’d want your property and finances managed.
Estate planning attorneys in Colorado
If you have questions about the pros and cons of establishing a revocable living trust, The Law Network PC can help. Or, if you’re ready to get started today, we can help you with that, too. Call our office today at 303-267-1111 to speak with an estate planning expert you can trust. Call today to learn why The Law Network PC is the most trusted estate planning law firm in Northern Colorado.