Preparing your end-of-life documents may not seem like a good time, but it needs to get done. As you look over everything that you need to plan for, it could get overwhelming. The good news is there are estate planning lawyers who can walk you through the process.
One step in the process is creating a revocable living trust. What is it? A revocable living trust is a tool you can use to leave property to your loved ones after your death. If you change your mind while you’re alive, you can revoke your original plan and make a new one.
How Is a Revocable Living Trust Created?
To create a revocable living trust, you’ll need to determine who you want to inherit what property. You’ll need to speak with a lawyer who can help you put the trust together. You’ll first write the document, sign it, then have it signed by a notary public. In your trust, you’ll need to name someone as your trustee. This individual manages your property after your death, ensuring it is given to the proper beneficiaries at the proper time.
How Do You Put Property Into a Trust?
Depending on the type of property you’re placing in the trust, this can be a simple process. After your document is created, you’ll just list the property and the beneficiaries in it. If you are placing titled property in the trust, it will have to be retitled. The trust will then “own” the property. If you don’t do this properly, the property could end up in a lengthy probate proceeding.
Does Property Otherwise Avoid Probate?
Yes, property can avoid probate when it is placed in a trust. Many individuals choose to use a trust for this very reason. Probate can last a long time and is often expensive for the family, until they are left with nothing because of all the probate expenses. When property is owned by the will, it’s not included in the probate process, and the beneficiaries get it outright.
Is a Trust the Same As a Will?
No, a trust and a will are two different documents. While there are some things they have in common, such as naming beneficiaries, revising your documents in life and leaving property to minors, there are a lot of differences as well. For example, with a trust you avoid conservatorship and your document stays private, even after you die, which are both benefits not granted with a will.
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