A revocable living trust is a legal agreement or arrangement that you enter into to plan for the management and distribution of your assets. The trust is considered “revocable” because you can modify it or revoke during your lifetime. The trust is considered “living” (inter vivos in Latin) because it is created while you are alive.
Revocable living trusts are popular estate planning devices because they allow you to (1) set forth your own personal desires as to who is to inherit your assets, (2) appoint a trustee to manage your assets in the event of mental incapacity, and (3) avoid probate, a lengthy, costly and public court process.
Because of these features, trust-based estate plans can often be more desirable than will-based estate plans.
Unlike living trusts, wills only provide instructions upon your death. They do not provide instructions or legal authority for your executors to manage your assets during your lifetime and in the case of mental incapacity.
In addition, wills by operation of law must go through the probate process. Many clients have the misconception that creating a will allows your loved ones to avoid court. In fact, the reality is the exact opposite.
If you would like to know how a revocable living trust might help you, please schedule a free consultation with our office.