Planning your estate is one of the best ways to ensure that your assets and property will go to those who can use it them the most, whether or not they are relatives, friends, or even charitable organizations. While this could involve including bequests in a will, it is not the only method of estate planning. In fact, there are actually a number of benefits to creating a revocable living trust that aren’t available to those who draft a will. Fortunately, testators are not required to choose between these options. However, it is still important to speak with an experienced estate planning attorney before making a decision, as both choices have important implications.
The Advantages of a Living Trust
A living trust is a document that can be put in place when a testator is still alive and gives him or her the ability to change or rescind the document at any time. In most cases, another person, or even an entity like a bank, is appointed as a trustee to manage the assets that are placed in the trust and in the event of the trustor’s death, to distribute those assets to the named beneficiaries. A living trust also protects a person’s assets in the event that he or she becomes disabled or sick, as the designated trustee will retain legal title of the assets. It is also possible for the trustor to hold the title of trustee him or herself, which will allow that individual to retain full control over the assets, an advantage that is appealing to many trustors, especially those who have young children or want to ensure that the assets are used for a certain purpose. Furthermore, trusts do not need to go through the probate process, which could save beneficiaries a significant amount of time and money in the long run.
One of the biggest advantages to creating a revocable living trust is that it keeps certain information and assets private, as trusts are usually not made public. Wills, on the other hand, become a matter of public record as soon as they pass through probate, which is unappealing to many, especially those who value their privacy.
There are, however, also some disadvantages to creating a revocable living trust. For instance, the revocable power that comes with this type of trust often involves taxation. This is because trusts are treated as part of a decedent’s estate, which means that the assets will be subject to an estate tax. Finally, assets held in a trust are still subject to liability, even upon the testator’s death.
Call Today for Help Planning Your Own Estate
Speaking with an attorney can help testators determine the best ways to ensure that their estate is protected, so if you have questions or concerns about establishing a trust, please contact one of the dedicated estate planning attorneys at Orlowsky & Wilson, Ltd. Attorneys at Law by calling 847-325-5559 today and a member of our legal team will help you schedule a case evaluation at your earliest convenience.