How A Revocable Trust Can Enhance Your Estate Plan

Law Blog

While having a will is certainly important, it's best if this important document plays but one part of a complete estate plan. Nothing can entirely replace a will, but using a revocable trust can make an enormous difference in how your estate is handled after your death. To avoid missing out on this handy method of efficiently dealing with some major aspects of your estate, read on to learn more about revocable trusts.

What is a revocable trust?

Don't let the word "trust" throw you; it's really just another way to deal with property left behind after a death. While you could place your home, vehicles and bank accounts in a will, using a trust has advantages that no will could ever have. A trust can be used to address real estate, investment and bank accounts, cars and boats, artwork and jewelry and more. If an item exists, it can be included in a revocable trust.

What happens after the trust owner passes way?

Just like a will, the owner of a revocable trust has the power to change a trust in any way while still living. For example, you can remove property from a trust and add property to a trust. You have the power to entirely do away with the trust and create a new trust as well. Additionally, you will appoint an administrator to oversee the trust after your death. This person, called a trustee, fulfills a similar role to that of a personal representative or executor.

It is after a death that the true benefits of a revocable trust become more obvious. With a will, the contents must go through the probate process. This legal means of ensuring the fairness and legality of bequeaths can go on for months on end, leaving the beneficiaries without the means to collect their rightful inheritances. A trust, on the other hand, dispenses the property to the named beneficiaries almost immediately (as soon as death certificates become available).

What if an asset is mentioned both in a will and a trust?

When it comes to this issue, a trust holds more good news. If a particular asset is addressed both in a will and in a revocable trust, the trust holds precedence over the will. For example, if a will stipulates that Aunt Louise is to receive the 1952 Studebaker and the trust stipulates that cousin Ralph is to receive this fine automobile as well, then cousin Ralph is the winner.

To learn more about revocable trusts, speak to an estate attorney with a company like Wright Law Offices, PLLC.


18 July 2017

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