CA Estate Planning Blog

Monday, May 18, 2020

The Benefits of a Revocable Living Trust

Creating an estate plan as soon as possible is very important. This is first and foremost because you never know where life is going to take you. It is critical to have an estate plan in place to help protect your future and that of your family. Estate planning sooner rather than later also has the major benefit of evaluating all of your estate plan options. There are legal tools available that many people are unfamiliar with, but yield great benefits when properly employed. For instance, a revocable living trust has a variety of benefits, but many people are not aware of what those benefits are or what a revocable living trust is.

The Benefits of a Revocable Living Trust

A revocable living trust is like a will in the way that it can act as a way to transfer your assets to your intended beneficiaries upon your death. There are, however, benefits to having a revocable living trust that are not available when you utilize a will for asset distribution. With a living trust, you are creating a legal document that places assets into a trust for your benefit during your lifetime and then, upon your death, transfers to the designated beneficiaries according to the terms of the trust by your successor trustee.

One major advantage of a revocable living trust is that you are able to avoid probate of the assets held in the trust. This is also a major difference between a revocable living trust and a will. The contents of a will go through probate. The assets held in the living trust fall outside of probate. So, instead of being subject to the expense and time investment of court overseen probate, assets are transferred to beneficiaries in a more expedited fashion. While a will is less costly to create than a revocable living trust, the living trust has cost-saving advantages in that you avoid probate court costs and costs associated with the delay of assets transferring to beneficiaries.

A revocable living trust also offers privacy, which can be important to many people. Probate is a public process. This means that your probated estate, such as the contents of your will, become part of the public record. As a living trust is not subject to probate, it is not made public. The assets held in the trust and the beneficiaries who are to receive the assets will remain private.

Revocable living trusts are also beneficial in the way that they can become critical legal documents not just upon your death, but also upon your incapacitation. Should you become incapacitated due to injury or illness, your successor trustee can automatically be empowered to manage your affairs. Without a revocable living trust, a court would have to appoint a conservator to fill this role. Instead, you can have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your handpicked successor trustee will handle your affairs should you be unable to do so yourself.

Estate Planning Attorneys

At OC Wills & Trust Attorneys, we are here to protect the best interests of our clients and their loved ones through establishing comprehensive estate plans. We provide guidance on the best ways to accomplish your goals and will answer any of your questions. Contact us today.

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