A revocable trust, also known as a living trust, is a legal arrangement where a person (the grantor or trust maker) transfers their assets, such as property or investments into a trust while they are still alive. The grantor retains control over the assets and can change or revoke the trust at any time during their lifetime.
By placing assets into a revocable trust, the grantor can avoid the probate process, which is the legal process of distributing assets after someone dies. When the grantor dies, the assets in the trust can be distributed to the beneficiaries named in the trust document without going through probate. This is a useful estate planning tool for many different types of people. A few examples are:
Individuals or couples with substantial assets. A revocable trust can help avoid the time and expense of probate and ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes and that assets “stay in the family”. Inherited assets are generally not joint property unless comingled. The trust prevents comingling of assets.
People with complex family situations. If you have a blended family, children from a previous marriage or other complex dynamics such as children with special needs, a revocable trust can help you ensure assets are distributed fairly.
Individuals that want privacy. If you value your privacy and do not want your estate to become a matter of public record, a revocable trust can help you achieve this goal. Unlike probate, which is a matter of public record, a revocable trust is a private document that is not subject to public disclosure.
In conclusion, a revocable trust can be a good option for anyone who wants to have more control over how their assets are managed and distributed after they die. It is important to consult with an estate planning attorney to determine whether or not a revocable trust is the right choice for you.