Why do I need a Revocable Living Trust?
Everyone who has any assets (like a home or a retirement account or a business) has probably heard about Revocable Livings Trusts and wondered whether they need to set one up. At my office in Portland, Oregon, the main estate planning tool that I use to help my clients is a Revocable Living Trust. There are many reasons why so many of my clients choose to plan their estates with a Revocable Living Trust, rather than with a Will-based plan. Here are some of those reasons.
A Revocable Living Trust Helps Your Family to Avoid Probate
The main reason that my clients choose to use Revocable Living Trusts is that, if set up properly, they help the client’s family to avoid a probate process after the client dies. Probate is a court process in which the deceased person’s property is inventoried and valuated, creditors are paid, and whatever is left is distributed to whomever the heirs are. Probate is a public process and it can be costly and time-consuming. For that reason, many people wish for their family to avoid the whole thing and have their estate handled in a lawyer’s office. They choose Revocable Living Trusts, in which they sign a trust agreement that lays out what they want done with their assets. It is completely private, can save a lot of money in the long term, and can be handled in just a few months, rather than several months to several years of probate. This means your family can have access to assets within a matter of days, rather than months or years.
A Revocable Living Trust Helps Your Family to Avoid a Conservatorship
Another reason that my clients choose to use Revocable Living Trusts is to avoid a Conservatorship process if the client is incapacitated (still living, but unable to make decisions for yourself). A Conservatorship is a lot like a Probate, in that it is a long, expensive process, although it is usually a private proceeding. A major difference between Probate and Conservatorship is that a Conservatorship lasts until the incapacitated person dies. This can be many years, depending on the circumstances, and your Conservator will have to spend hours creating records and reporting to the court every year. While this process can be good for people who want the court oversight, most of my clients want to set up a Revocable Living Trust, so that if they are incapacitated, their Trustee (usually their spouse or other family member) can step in and make sure that bills are paid and finances are in order.
A Revocable Living Trust Helps You to Maintain Control of Assets
Of course, there are other ways to avoid Probate and Conservatorship, but a Revocable Living Trust is the only way that lets you truly maintain control over your assets while you are still alive. Some people choose joint ownership as a way to avoid probate, but this means that if anything goes wrong during your lifetime, like a lawsuit or creditor situation of the person you hold joint ownership with, your assets can be at risk. Revocable Living Trusts are the best of all worlds. You truly get to have your cake and eat it too.
These are some of the major reasons that my clients choose to use Revocable Living Trusts. Ultimately, it is the smoothest way to plan for your family, so that instead of constant headaches and shaking their fists at the sky, you family has what they need and can spend their time grieving and healing.
If you want to get started on your estate plan, read about our estate planning services and schedule an appointment.
To your family's health + happiness.
~Candice N. Aiston
P.S. Want to get started slowly but surely, naming guardians for your kids? Check out our Guardian Plan kit.
Want to use this article in your newsletter or on your blog or website?
You can! Just please be sure to use this complete blurb with it:
Candice N. Aiston is an Legal Planning Attorney for Estates + Businesses in the Portland, Oregon area. She helps people to prepare for a lifetime of security, prosperity, and guidance. If you would like to receive her free reports, please visit http://aistonlaw.com/ to sign up. Follow her Facebook page for daily planning tips: https://www.facebook.com/aistonlaw/.