Are Revocable Living Trusts Only for Rich People?

No! Revocable living trusts are for anyone who wants to plan their estate ahead with efficiency and accuracy in mind. You should think about planning your estate not in terms of who an instrument might have been designed for, but in terms of whether or not the features of an instrument are right for your purposes.

What Is a Revocable Living Trust?

A “revocable living trust” is one that is created during a person’s lifetime. Other names include “inter vivos” trusts or simply “living trusts”. To make a proper, legal trust, you must have a written document, signed by the trust maker, listing the property of the trust, name a trustee, and naming a beneficiary who will receive the trust property after the death of the trust maker, otherwise named a grantor or settlor.

Revocable living trusts are not to be confused with “irrevocable” living trusts. Irrevocable trusts may not be changed or revoked, so the interest is vested in the beneficiary of the trust. People choose to create irrevocable living trusts for tax benefits or to protect their assets from other parties who might want to acquire them.

A Trustee Has a Fiduciary Duty to the Beneficiary of Trust Property

A trustee holds the assets for the benefit of the beneficiary according to the terms laid out by the grantor, the person who created the trust. The trustee has a fiduciary duty to competently manage the trust property for the benefit of the beneficiary. A grantor can also be the trustee, and there can be multiple beneficiaries. After the grantor dies, the trustee administers the trust property to carry out the grantor’s wishes.

The Many Benefits of Having a Trust in Michigan

One of the benefits of a revocable living trust is their flexibility; you can amend or revoke them whenever you decide you want to. If the grantor decides to change the terms of the trust, he or she should engage an attorney to change the instrument terms. Doing it improperly could cause disputes later one that may need to be resolved in court.

Many people want to make arrangements ahead of time in case they became unable to make decisions for themselves such as by becoming ill or disabled. Revocable living trusts help people plan and avoid probate for the assets named. In addition, having a trust avoids a conservatorship that the decedent may not have approved of.

Trust instruments can help pass property without the hassle and expense of probate. Family members and other loved ones often bicker in nasty court disputes when the decedent did not fully and clearly lay out his or her wishes for disposition of their estate. Trusts can minimize fighting over property later on. Another benefit of a trust is that the grantor can preserve the privacy of his or her financial picture since trust administration is private. Probate goes through the courtroom process, and therefore the details of your estate would be public.

An Attorney Is a Must in Proper Estate Planning

An experienced, careful attorney will thoroughly review your situation and advise options best suited to your wishes. It is important to obtain professional legal help to plan and draft a trust document because you need to have it done right and accurately reflect your wishes. You would not want your wishes to be misinterpreted or find out that the trust document is invalid.

Troy, Michigan BRMM estate planning attorneys can help you find out whether or not a revocable living trust is right for you. Contact our experienced estate planning attorneys today at (248) 213-9514 or fill out or online form for a free, confidential consultation.

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