As Loveland, OH trust lawyers, we find that revocable living trusts are misunderstood by a lot of folks. They assume that a will is the only estate planning document for “ordinary people.”
In fact, there are different types of trusts, and the revocable living trust is very effective for individuals are not extremely wealthy. One of the major advantages is the streamlined estate administration, and we will provide the details in this post.
You Act as the Trustee
Most people are aware of the fact that an executor handles the estate administration tasks when a will is used. If you establish a revocable living trust, the trustee would be the administrator, and the tasks would be similar to the duties of an executor in many ways.
The name is self-explanatory to large extent. This estate planning device would become active while you are still living, and you would be able to revoke it if you ever choose to do so.
Even though you are the grantor or creator of the trust, you would act as the trustee while you are living, so you would have total authority. In a very real sense, you would have the same access to the assets in the trust that you have had all along.
This is not a very pleasant subject to consider, but Loveland, OH trust lawyers have to confront inconvenient truths. Cognitive impairment is very common among elders, and it can strip you of your ability to make sound decisions.
Hopefully, you will never be in this position, but it is better to be safe than sorry. When you have a living trust, you can name a disability trustee to assume the role in the event of your incapacity.
When you establish the trust, you name a successor trustee to act as the administrator after you pass away. You should also name an alternate that would assume the role if the primary trustee cannot take on the responsibility when the time comes.
The trustee can be a family member, a friend, or some other individual that you know personally, or you can use a professional fiduciary.
Which is the best choice? It all depends on the circumstances.
One of the advantages of a living trust over a will is the ability to provide limited distributions to the beneficiaries over an extended period of time.
For example, let’s say that you have income-producing assets in the trust. You could instruct the trustee to distribute the annual interest broken up into monthly increments, and you can allow for portions of the principal to be added to reach a certain dollar amount.
If the trust is going to remain active for an extended period of time and asset management will be part of the equation, you may want to use a professional trustee.
On the other hand, if you want all the assets to be distributed in lump sums shortly after your passing, the job would not be as demanding.
The successor trustee will benefit from the fact that all the assets that comprise the estate will be owned by the trust. If you include a pour-over will, assets that you may have had in your personal possession will be transferred into the trust.
Another positive when it comes to the estate administration phase is the avoidance of probate. A will would be admitted to probate, which is an expensive and time-consuming process. It is also a public proceeding, so there is a loss of privacy when an estate goes through probate.
Assets that are in a revocable living trust can be distributed to the beneficiaries outside of probate.
Attend an Estate Planning Webinar!
We have shared a little bit of information about living trust administration in this post, and you can take your knowledge to another level if you attend one of our webinars.
The sessions explore the value of living trusts, and there is no charge, so this is an investment of time that will yield tangible dividends. You can see the schedule if you visit our webinar page, and when you identify the event that you would like to attend, follow the instructions to register.
Need Help Now?
If you already know that it is time to work with a Loveland, OH trust lawyer to develop a plan, we are here to help. You can schedule a consultation appointment if you call us at 513-721-1513, and you can use our contact form if you would rather send us a message.
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