Top 4 Benefits of Revocable Living Trust Planning
Trusts are mythical unknowns for most of our community members. While most of us inherently know that Trusts are "better" than Wills, I often find that people can't wrap their heads around the reasons for that reality. This guide is meant to summarize the beautiful benefits of Trust planning!
Asset Protection for Trust BeneficiariesWhen money and other assets are held in a Trust for the benefit of your loved ones (what I call my "Guardian Angel Trust"), those assets are largely shielded from DIVORCE, LAWSUITS and CREDITORS. By contrast, money passed down outright via Will becomes personally owned by your loved ones. This opens the door for the above-mentioned predators to take that money away from them.
Probate AvoidanceContrary to popular belief, when a person passes away with a Will, their estate goes through the dreaded probate process. However, if you have a Guardian Angel Trust set up for your loved ones, probate is greatly expedited! How come? The Trust becomes the technical owner of each asset we "fund" into it. So when you pass away, probate is avoided because you didn't own those assets- your Trust did. The ability to side-step probate means less attorneys fees, more efficient distribution of assets, and more protection of the family's privacy!
Bonus tip- if you personally own property out of state (even jointly), you'll subject your family to something called "ancillary probate" in that state once you pass away. However, if all of your properties are held in trust, probate is avoided/expedited in all relevant states.
Customized Trustee InstructionsAs opposed to a lump sum distribution to your beneficiaries, a Trust provides a “blank canvass” opportunity to provide for your loved ones in a way that is personal to you. Think of your Trust as a rulebook that you've written for your children. You've poured your "blood, sweat and tears" into raising your family and supporting them financially... why not ensure that your influence lives on, and the money you're leaving behind is spent the way you would have wanted it to be? This is your legacy!
Special Needs PlanningIf a loved one has special needs, a Trust becomes a must! Special Needs Trust language will provide your beneficiary access to money that won’t disqualify him/her from state aid. The state will provide for basic comfort and care, and Trust funds can be used as a supplement— ensuring that the money lasts longer, while increasing quality of life!