Estate Planning 101: The Revocable Living Trust

Today we’re spotlighting one of our favorite estate planning tools: the revocable living trust. One of the best things about revocable living trusts is that they allow you to have some power over how your descendants or other loved ones utilize the money they inherit from you after you die. 

What are the benefits of a revocable living trust?

  • Because it is revocable, you are still in control of the assets as long as you’re alive. You can make changes to the trust as you please.
  • The assets in the trust get to skip the probate process, which is great news for your loved ones because probate can be expensive and time-consuming.
  • Your privacy is protected. (Probate matters become public record.)
  • You still get to have income earned by the trust’s assets.

Are there any less desirable factors at play with revocable living trusts?

  • Unlike some other estate planning tools, revocable living trusts don’t help with taxes. Income from the assets in the trust will be taxed as well as subject to legal action by creditors.
  • It may be a slight hassle to have to re-title all of the property in the name of the trust once the trust is established. 

How do I create a revocable living trust?

You can create a revocable living trust by first appointing a trustee in writing. The person you name trustee will be responsible for managing and administering the property and assets in the trust. For instance, they might disperse a certain amount to beneficiaries per year or per month as you instruct in your written agreement. There are many different ways for a trust to be managed, and you will be able to make the decisions. Your trustee can be any trusted adult, or even a bank or trust company. However, if you choose a bank or trust company, there will be significant fees.

Next you transfer whatever assets you want, from real estate to stock investments, into the trust. As mentioned above, this will involve retitling them. Once they are in the trust, you are no longer the owner of them. Instead, they are owned by the trust. 

With a revocable living trust, you maintain control of the assets until you die. At that point the trustee will begin dispersing the assets to your beneficiaries as per your instruction.

Who can help me create my revocable living trust?

You need an experienced estate planning attorney to guide you through the process of creating your trust. It is important that every detail is correct so that the trust will be legal and efficient. The team at ElDeiry & ElDeiry, P.A. is here to help clients in the Fort Lauderdale area with all of their estate planning needs, including the creation of revocable living trusts. Give us a call at (954) 670-2800 to get started.

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