Revocable Living Trust
A revocable living trust is a document designed to manage your assets during your lifetime and, like a Last Will and Testament, distribute the remaining assets after your death. The person who creates a trust is called the “grantor.” The person responsible for the management of the trust assets is known as the “trustee.” Often times, the grantor and trustee is one and the same person—that is, you yourself. Moreover, because the trust is revocable, you, as the grantor, can make amendments or revoke the trust at any time.
After you create a trust, your assets, such as bank accounts, real estate (including your homestead) and investments should be transferred to the trust before your death to get the maximum benefit from the trust. This easy process is referred to as “funding” the trust. This process requires actually changing the ownership of most of your assets to the trust. Although the trust “owns” the assets, you, as the trustee of the trust, continue to manage the assets owned by the trust in much the same way you did before the trust was created.
At Allender & Allender, we recommend assets be transferred as soon as possible after the creation of the trust. Failing to do so may result in the expensive and time-consuming process known as Probate. However, certain assets, such as retirement accounts and automobiles, should not be transferred to a trust.
A revocable trust is a powerful estate planning tool. It allows you to give what you want, to whom you want, when you want, while still maintaining complete control over your assets while you are alive and well. At Allender & Allender, we have designed revocable living trusts, and a wide range of other trusts as well, for hundreds of clients over the years. And in the process, protected our clients’ assets for their enjoyment while they are alive and that of their loved ones after they are gone. All, while avoiding the stress, needless expense and frustration of probate. We welcome the opportunity to do the same for you and your loved ones.