Estate planning is ultimately about preparing for the future—making sure your assets, your life, and your legacy are protected against all contingencies. Proper estate planning calls for a number of different legal structures and tools, and one of the most important—yet also one of the most frequently overlooked—is the revocable living trust agreement.
In this post, we’ll take an overview of this important legal resource, covering such topics as setting up a revocable living trust; the benefits of a revocable living trust; and even the cost of a revocable living trust.
What is a Revocable Living Trust?
What is a revocable living trust? Simply put, when you establish a revocable living trust, you’re creating a legal document that grants authority to another person (the trustee) to make decisions about your assets/property being held in a trust.
Essentially, setting up a revocable living trust means you’re appointing someone who can make key financial decisions for you should you become medically incapacitated somehow—e.g., if you are in a coma.
In addition, the revocable living trust lays out who gets those assets when you—the person who created the trust, and the legal owner of those assets— die.
What to Know About Setting Up a Revocable Living Trust
As you set up a revocable living trust, there are three primary roles to be aware of.
- The trustor. This is the person who established the trust. This person might also be called the grantor.
- The trustee. The trustee is someone given the legal authority to manage the trust, and to make decisions about the money contained within it. This might be a close friend or it might be your attorney.
- The beneficiary. When you direct the money in your trust to be left to a particular person, that person is known as the beneficiary.
Something else to be aware of as you consider setting up a revocable trust is that, if you are married, you and your spouse can establish a joint revocable living trust. This essentially means that you’re setting up a trust for your shared assets, as well as any assets one of you might own independently. Usually, in a joint revocable living trust, both spouses serve as co-trustors, and can also serve as co-trustees. You can ask your estate planning attorney more about these distinctions.
The Benefits and Cost of a Revocable Living Trust
You can probably tell some of the main benefits of setting up one of these trusts. It gives you a way to ensure that your financial wishes are upheld, even in death. It also gives you a way of making sure that your assets avoid probate, and instead go to the beneficiaries of your choosing.
It’s also worth asking about the cost. You may have some legal fees associated with the establishment of a trust, and it is customary to pay the trustee a small stipend for his or her custodial assistance. To learn more about the specifics, it’s best to meet with your estate planning lawyer directly.
Meet with an Estate Planning Attorney Today
If you are curious about setting up a revocable living trust, or if you simply want to ask some additional questions, we invite you to contact Singh Law Firm. Our attorneys can help you establish and manage a trust as needed, and we can also advise on some of the broader points of your estate planning strategy. Learn more about the benefits of a revocable living trust, or about the areas we serve. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.