When people think of how they would like their assets distributed following their death, they usually think of using a Will. However, depending on your assets, a Will may not be the best testamentary document to use. Creating a Revocable Trust provides a number of advantages over a Will.
1. When you transfer your assets to your Revocable Trust, your family will not have to go through the probate process. Probate is a legal process in which the court supervises the administration of your estate. Probate can be time consuming and costly to your family who will already be dealing with feelings of grief. With a Revocable Trust, your Trustee can immediately assume responsibility to manage or distribute your assets as you outlined in your Trust. Since you will not be alive when your probate occurs, it will be your beneficiaries who will benefit from your efforts to avoid probate by creating a Revocable Trust.
2. A Revocable Trust can also help avoid additional probate proceedings if you own property in more than one state. You may not realize that real property ownership in multiple states can result in probate proceedings in each state in which you own real property. Property owned outside your state of residency can be transferred to a Revocable Trust while you are living to avoid probate in the state where the real property is owned. Multiple probate proceedings are costly and time consuming.
3. If you become incapacitated and cannot manage your own financial affairs, your family may need to file a Guardianship proceeding to establish a guardian for your benefit. With a Revocable Trust, however, your Trustee can assume responsibility to protect and manage your assets for your benefit as long as you are incapacitated. This can happen immediately and again can save time and money.
4. You can maintain your privacy with a Revocable Trust. Probate proceedings are generally open to the public. A Revocable Trust can provide privacy to you and your family members by avoiding the probate process.
5. One of the best features about a Revocable Trust is that while you are alive, you have the right to alter, amend or revoke – which means you have flexibility. Circumstances change — you may get married or divorced, you may acquire or sell assets and agents or beneficiaries may no longer be viable. With the flexibility of a Revocable Trust, you can plan to avoid probate, and make changes as you deem appropriate.
A Revocable Trust provides many advantages which include simplifying administration after death resulting in cost savings to your estate, management of your assets during your life and after death, the trust is more private, and you have flexibility to make changes. If you would like to discuss the benefits of a Revocable Trust in your situation, then please contact our office for a complementary ½ hour consultation.
JensenBayles, LLP provides a broad spectrum of legal services. Thomas J. Bayles has been actively providing advice in the areas of trusts, wills, probate and tax planning in the St. George for over 18 years. Please visit our web site www.jensenbayles.com or call 435-674-9718 and ask for Thomas J. Bayles or Phillip G. Gubler. The information in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be construed as legal advice.