Estate planning can be a complicated process, but it is well worth it to have the peace of mind of knowing that your assets will be distributed according to your wishes after you pass. There are many different forms of estate plans you can use, and your individual circumstances will determine the best estate planning approach for you.
You can get the guidance and help you need from the California estate planning attorneys at Galanti and Copenhaver. Our attorneys have many years of experience creating estate plans to best suit our clients' individual needs. We can also help at any stage of the estate planning process-whether you are just getting started and want to discuss your options, or you are involved in estate litigation in some way. Give our office a call today to get started making the plans for your future.
What is a Revocable Trust?
A revocable trust is a common type of estate plan in which the grantor (the person creating the trust) transfers assets of their choosing into a trust. The grantor retains title to the assets in the trust, and still has the ability to manage the assets and can also modify the terms of the trust. This is the main difference between a revocable trust and an irrevocable trust-the transfer of title and ownership of the assets. With an irrevocable trust, the title and ownership are passed to the trust, while a revocable trust allows ownership of the assets to remain with the grantor.
A revocable trust is also commonly referred to as a living trust, or a revocable living trust. Essentially, it is a document that sets forth your chosen beneficiaries and rules for the eventual distribution of your assets within the trust. The trust document also will establish a designated trustee or trustees in the event the grantor becomes unable to manage the trust on their own.
There are many good reasons for creating a revocable trust, but it is still a good idea in most cases to also incorporate a will into your estate plans. Your attorney will be able to take a look at your personal financial circumstances and discuss your goals with you in order to come up with the best estate plan for you.
Benefits of Creating a Revocable Trust
There are many benefits of creating a revocable trust. Under some circumstances, it can help your beneficiaries avoid a lengthy probate process and administration expenses upon your passing. The main benefit for you though as the grantor is that you can modify and make changes to the trust and its assets and terms as you wish throughout the remainder of your life. You can change beneficiaries and add new assets to the trust, and you can make changes to how you want the property to be managed upon your death or in the event you become incapacitated and are unable to make these decisions on your own.
Another benefit to creating a revocable trust is that by doing so, you may be able to lessen federal and state estate taxes on the property in the trust, as well as lower some additional costs of administration. This is one of the many reasons it is important to have an experienced attorney help you draft your estate plans, as they can help make sure arrangements are made to best protect your assets now and in the future for your beneficiaries. If your beneficiaries are able to avoid probate with your trust, you can save them considerable time and money. It can also give you some privacy, as the probate process is public and if you can avoid that, you can protect certain financial details that you do not want to become public.
Choosing a Trustee for Your Revocable Trust
You can choose anyone you want to designate as your trustee. You can choose to act as the trustee during your lifetime, and then have a plan in place for a new trustee to take over the trust-managing duties if you become incapacitated and unable to make decisions on your own. It is important to choose someone that you trust to handle the management of your trust, since you are giving them the responsibility to make sure the assets of the trust are managed appropriately, and the distributions are made according to your wishes upon your passing.
Making an estate plan is a crucial step in planning for your future. Contact us today at Galanti and Copenhaver to get started with a consultation to discuss your estate planning needs.