Many estate planning tools provide numerous benefits for a broad range of individuals. Believing that estate planning is only for the wealthy or only for those approaching retirement and beyond can be a big mistake. One of the most flexible and powerful tools associated with estate planning is known as the revocable living trust. It should always be set up by an experienced attorney.
The basic purpose of any trust is to allow one responsible individual or a firm to manage the assets of someone else. The settlor may also be referred to as the grantor, donor or trustor. This is the person with the assets. The trustee then becomes responsible for those assets and acts on behalf of those receiving the assets. If you don’t want someone knowing the full details behind your assets and your worth, a trust can help to keep this confidential. When a settlor passes away, you can structure it such that all of your assets will transfer over to the trust.
This is why all assets should be in the name of the trust while the settlor is still alive. However, you might use an additional tool called a pour over will, that means these will eventually end up in the trust. A revocable living trust provides a great deal of flexibility because it can be changed over the course of your life.
This is in direct contrast to an irrevocable living trust, which is established once and cannot be changed over the course of your life. Knowing the different tools available to you and how to use a revocable living trust goes a long way in explaining how your future beneficiary will be able to receive assets. Talk to an experienced estate planning lawyer today to learn more.