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    Revocable Living Trust Benefits

    By Jay Greene, Esq., CPA–

    The Revocable Living Trust

    One of the most common phrases used in estate planning is the “Revocable Living Trust” (RLT). It may seem that everyone has a revocable living trust, or has considered creating one. Revocable living trusts are a popular and powerful tool for individuals and families planning for their future, but what exactly is a revocable living trust?

    Revocable Living Trust Defined

    A revocable living trust is a document that offers many advantages, and it can be created by anyone. Trusts are structured to own assets so they are no longer titled under your own name.

    Starting with the word “Revocable,” to be “Revocable” gives the authority to move assets in and out of the trust, change provisions, and dissolve the trust, if desired. Next, the trust is “Living”; to be “Living” simply means that the trust functions during your lifetime (i.e., it isn’t just a death document.). This means you can be trustee of your own revocable living trust so you maintain full control of your assets throughout your life. It protects you in the event of your disability.

    In addition to the revocable living trust’s benefits during the grantor’s life, there are many benefits that occur after the grantor passes away. The trust becomes irrevocable upon the grantor’s death, which means that it cannot be changed. At this point, the successor trustee would step up to administer the trust to your desired beneficiaries per your directions from your trust documents.

    One of the primary functions of the revocable living trust after your death is to avoid probate. Avoiding probate is critical for ensuring your assets are distributed without unnecessary financial and emotional stress for your beneficiaries and loved ones. A probate can cost up to five to seven percent of the gross value of the decedent’s assets and takes an average of 9–12 months to complete or even longer. Along the probate process is court involvement, potential contests by heirs, and strangers controlling the disposition of your estate. There is no reason to undergo probate because there is a way out of this stressful and time-consuming legal process.

    Creating Your Own Revocable Living Trust

    Getting started with trust planning is a simple process. Working with an estate planning attorney makes it easy to gather information and to finally determine which people you wish to include in your planning. Beginning your trust plan is much easier than you think! The first step is to contact an experienced estate planning attorney so they can walk you through the benefits of trust planning and provide guidance on which steps to take to move forward. Our law firm is dedicated to helping people like you make the best decision for yourself, your assets, and your loved ones. To learn more about our services, please reach out to our office at 415-905-0215 and schedule a consultation.

    Statements In Compliance with California Rules of Professional Conduct: The materials in this article have been prepared by Jay Greene for educational purposes only and are not legal advice. This information does not create an attorney-client relationship. Individuals should consult with an estate planning and elder law attorney for up-to-date information for their individual plans.

    Jay Greene, Esq., CPA, is the founder of Greene Estate, Probate & Elder Law Firm based in San Francisco, and is focused on helping LGBT individuals, couples, and families plan for their future, protect their assets, and preserve their wealth. To learn more and to schedule an appointment, visit https://assetprotectionbayarea.com/

    Published on August 11, 2022