Revocable trusts can be a useful tool in estate planning. Trusts can be beneficial for many people, not just for those with estates on the larger side. Revocable trusts can simplify the distribution of estate assets and can also help to protect your privacy.
What is a Revocable Trust?
A revocable trust is a trust that can be changed, amended, or revoked at any time during the grantor (creator of the trust)’s lifetime. When you create a revocable trust, the assets are held within the trust, and the trust is then managed by a trustee of your choosing. You can be the trustee of your own trust; however, you must also name a successor trustee to take over these duties in the event of your passing.
California Revocable Trust and Estate Planning Attorneys
The attorneys at Galanti and Copenhaver have many years of experience creating and modifying estate plans, including revocable trusts. Our attorneys can help you create an estate plan to best suit your individual needs. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can help you plan for your future.
Sign #1 – You Value Privacy, Especially When it Comes to Finances
One of the major benefits of creating a revocable trust is that the trust assets will not need to pass through probate in order to be distributed to trust beneficiaries. If privacy is important to you, you likely will want to protect sensitive financial information from becoming public. If you only include a will in your estate planning, then sensitive financial matters can become public during the probate process.
Sign #2 – You Want Flexibility in Your Estate Planning
Since it can be difficult to make changes to an irrevocable trust, those that want to use trusts as part of their estate plans may opt to create a revocable trust instead. A revocable trust may be a better choice for someone younger who anticipates future changes being made to the trust. Even if you are a bit older and think you will not want any modifications to the trust, life can change quickly, and it may be better to choose the more flexible option.
Sign #3 – You Want to Protect Yourself and Your Assets If You Become Incapacitated in the Future
Another benefit to creating a revocable trust is that you are able to name someone to make any medical and financial decisions on your behalf in the event you become incapacitated and cannot make the decisions for yourself. No one wants to think about bad things happening down the road, but having plans in place for worst-case scenarios can make a difficult time easier for you and your family.
You can name a medical and financial power of attorney in a revocable trust (sometimes referred to as a living will) who can make important decisions for you if you are unable to. As the grantor, you have control over the terms of the trust. This means that you can give the person whom you designate as little or as much power as you want, and you can also choose the circumstances that must occur for it to go into effect.
Sign #4 – You Want Assets to Be Available to Your Loved Ones As Soon As Possible After Your Death
Assets that are held in a revocable trust are available immediately after the grantor’s death. These assets can then be used to pay immediate expenses, such as debts, estate taxes, and administration expenses.
This is beneficial to your loved ones, who will not need to wait for a probate decree or the issuance of preliminary letters to have access to the funds. When the trust is funded prior to a person’s death, the property that is held in the trust remains in the name of the trust and trustee and can be available quickly for liquidation if the need arises.
Sign #5 – You Want to Place Assets into a Trust, But You Also Want to Retain Some Control
If you choose to make a revocable living trust, then you are still able to control the assets within the trust while you are alive. Even though the assets in the trust belong to the trust, you still have a certain level of control over them. For example, you can change or amend the trust at any point in time throughout your lifetime.
Additionally, the income that is earned by the assets held in the trust goes to you—though it is important to keep in mind that this income is taxable. The assets themselves do not transfer to your beneficiaries until you pass. Contact Galanti & Copenhaver, Inc. today at 707-867-0787 or fill out our online contact form to see how we can help you.