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The Benefits of a Revocable Trust

A revocable trust is a written document that determines how your assets will be handled during your life and after you die.  The grantor (person that created the trust) transfers legal ownership to a person or corporation (called the "trustee") to manage that property for the benefit of another person or organization (called the "beneficiary"). Typically, with most revocable trusts, the grantor is named as the initial trustee and thereafter names successor trustees.  Although it is possible to fund a trust upon the grantor’s death, it is usually preferable to do this while the grantor is still living to ensure the continuity of asset management and the financial support of the grantor in the event he or she becomes disabled.

Below is a list of some of the most notable benefits of a revocable trust:

  • Avoidance of probate: To determine that a will is valid and to pay creditors (yes! creditors still have to be paid after death), it must go through the probate process. This process can take some time and is often expensive. If you have a revocable trust, however, you will be able to bypass this legal process. As such, this is often considered one of the primary benefits of having a revocable trust.
  • Protect beneficiaries from themselves:  When property is left to someone in a will, it passes to them outright.  This lack of oversight, can be detrimental for those loved ones who are minors, do not manage money well or have substance abuse problems.  A revocable trust is a good way to leave property to loved ones but maintain some control over distributions.  A trustee would be named to manage the trust property for the loved ones’ benefit and provide distributions for things such as the loved ones’ health, education, maintenance and support.
  • Avoid disruption of government benefits:  If a loved one has special needs and is receiving government benefits, a distribution to them under a will could terminate those benefits.  Instead, funds could be left in a revocable trust and a trustee sophisticated enough to understand Special Needs Trusts could be appointed to manage the trust property for the benefit of the loved one.
  • Continuity of management during disability: Creating a revocable trust is one of the most effective ways to make sure your property remains available to be used for your benefit in the event that you become either physically or mentally incapable of managing your affairs. Without a revocable trust or a power of attorney, you would have to go through the long, costly, and arduous process of having a conservator or guardian appointed before your loved ones can use your property for you or your family’s benefit.
  • Flexibility: Revocable trusts allow you to set parameters on when and how distributions to beneficiaries are made.  Without a revocable trust, your flexibility is generally limited. Moreover, it is far easier to make changes to a revocable trust than it is to make changes to a will.
  • Availability of assets after death: Revocable trusts also ensure assets are available after the grantor’s death without having to wait for a probate decree or issuance of preliminary letters. If a revocable trust is funded before the grantor’s death, the property in the trust will remain in the trustee’s name before and after death and become immediately available for liquidation if necessary.

Skilled Estate Planning and Business Law Attorney in Duluth, GA

Having a trust can be an incredibly important part of any person’s future financial planning, whether you are a new parent, approaching retirement, or would simply like to protect your interests. At The Smith Willis Firm in Duluth, we have over 14 years of experience.  We assist individuals by drafting revocable trusts that effectively protects their financial future as well as the financial future of their loved ones.

Get started today and contact our law firm at (770) 766-5811 to schedule a free initial consultation with our knowledgeable attorney for answers to your questions regarding trusts or other estate planning concerns.

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