A Revocable Living Trust, also known as a Revocable Trust, or Living Trust, is just what it sounds like. It is a trust you create during your life, to hold your assets, of which you may (or may not) be the Trustee, and is revocable by you until your death or incompetency.
Do I still need a Will
Almost always. The Trust can only dispose of what is titled in the trust at your death. Even with great diligence, there are almost always other assets in your probate estate. If you do not have a Will, any and all of these other assets will pass through the intestate process if you do not have a Will. So yes, you should always have a Will even if you have a Revocable Living Trust.
What is the 'main' purpose of a Revocable Living Trust?
The primary purpose of a Revocable Living Trust in most states is largely to avoid probate. In other areas of the country, avoiding probate is, in fact, a very relevant concern due to the costs associated with probate, the time which a probate consumes, and the many hassles that are involved in the probate process in some states. However, probate is a relatively simple and inexpensive process in both Georgia and Alabama when you have a proper Will which names an Executor, waives bond and waives inventory.
What are other reasons to use a Revocable Living Trust?
i) planning for future disability to avoid guardianship; ii) for those who are very sensitive to privacy issues and wish the beneficiaries of their estate to be confidential and not of public record; iii) for those who own property in several different states; iv) for those who fear a contest to their Will (if the Revocable Living Trust is used, and all assets transferred prior to death, there is no 'estate' to probate, and thus no Will to challenge); and v) for those with significant estates.
Is it less expensive to have an estate plan that involves a Revocable Living Trust?
The use of a Revocable Living Trust is generally more expensive than only doing a Will, as two legal documents are involved: the Revocable Living Trust, and the pourover Will to dispose of any assets that were not transferred to the trust during your lifetime, as well as additional attorney time to help facilitate the funding of the Revocable Living Trust.
What are common problems with a Revocable Living Trust type estate plan?
The most common practical problem with using a Revocable Living Trust is that all assets are often not transferred during life, necessitating a probate in any event upon death, or creating confusion as to estate assets.
Is a Living Trust the same as a Living Will?
No. Generally, a Living Will is a health care document directing your final wishes if you are unable to give medical directions.
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