A revocable trust is created during your lifetime and you are in complete control of the trust, assets in the trust, and other matters regarding the trust as long as you are alive. This means you can add assets, sell or gift assets, change beneficiaries, or make any other changes you want. Mary Ann Tardiff, the Paso Robles estate planning attorney, has summarized the important points about creating a revocable trust.
There are many benefits to having a trust and those include:
- Avoids probate and makes sure that your final wishes are carried out. A will alone, or dying without a will and a trust means there is a good chance the probate court will handle your estate and the outcome may not be as you specified in your will. In California, any estate valued at more than $184,500 is subject to probate proceedings when someone dies intestate, meaning without a will or trust.
- A revocable trust ensures the privacy of the estate, assets, and distribution of assets. Probate proceedings are not private and are a matter of public record.
- Provides some protection from creditors for the beneficiaries.
- May reduce state estate taxes for beneficiaries living in states with estate taxes.
- May reduce income tax for beneficiaries on some assets.
- Guarantees that your wishes are honored and assets are distributed as you specify.
Not just for the wealthy
Revocable trusts are not just for the wealthy. Most of us have more assets than we realize until we sit down with an estate planning attorney and start itemizing what we have and whom we want to inherit each asset. Just owning a home, even the family home purchased in the 1960s is an asset that could wind up in probate without a trust.
Of course, it is possible to give items away during your lifetime to make sure the right people get them. This is frequently done and is perfectly acceptable, but what about those assets you keep? If you want the family home sold and the proceeds divided up among surviving children, a trust makes sure that happens.
What if you have dependent parents or a dependent adult child who relies on you for their care? A trust makes sure they are cared for. A trust can also make sure young children are cared for in the event both parents die at the same time.
These are only a few of the reasons to set up a revocable trust. A meeting with the Paso Robles estate planning attorney is going to provide even more convincing reasons.
How to set up a trust
with an estate planning attorney who will provide a list of information you need to supply, such as the assets to fund the trust, beneficiaries who are to receive specific assets, disposal of certain assets, such as selling real property and distributing the money, and more. The attorney:
- May have some advice to help you manage the trust and assets, and will explain what happens upon your death.
- Will prepare all of the trust documents, including a will, Advanced Health Care Directive (AHCD), certain powers of attorney for health care and managing your finances in the event you are unable to care for yourself.
- Make sure all of the assets are transferred correctly into the trust.
- Help you select and assign successor trustees, beneficiaries and successor beneficiaries.
- Advise you about how to add or remove assets or make other changes to the trust.
- Answer your questions.
Work with an expert
Whether you are a young person starting out, a family, or a senior citizen, Mary Ann Tardiff can help you set up a trust that is appropriate to your circumstances or make changes to an existing trust.
The Paso Robles estate planning attorney has been providing legal services and solutions for over 30 years. Mary Ann Tardiff focuses on Small Business Law, Estate and Elder Law, and Consumer Rights. Her vast experience as an attorney, Commissioner, and Judge Pro Tem, as well as her dedication to providing affordable and timely legal services, make her an ideal choice.