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How does a revocable trust work in an estate plan?

On Behalf of | Jan 2, 2024 | Estate Planning |

A revocable trust is a vital component in estate planning, blending flexibility with various benefits for asset management during one’s lifetime and beyond. It’s also known as a living trust and holds ownership of an individual’s assets once the trust is funded. 

The creator, or grantor, typically acts as the trustee, overseeing the assets within the trust. Its revocable nature allows the grantor the freedom to alter or dissolve the trust at any point during their lifetime. Assets in a revocable trust can range from real estate and bank accounts to investments and personal belongings.

Role in estate planning

A vital advantage of a revocable trust in estate planning is its ability to circumvent the probate process. Probate, the legal procedure for validating a deceased person’s will and distributing their assets, publicizes estate matters. A revocable trust allows the direct transfer of assets to beneficiaries, bypassing probate, ensuring privacy and potentially reducing time and expenses.

In scenarios of incapacitation, a revocable trust facilitates a smooth transition in asset management. With a successor trustee designated, there’s no need for court intervention if you’re unable to manage the trust. This ensures your assets are handled per your directives, even if incapacitated.

As long as you’re alive, you retain comprehensive control over the trust’s assets. You can modify asset distribution, add or remove assets or entirely revoke the trust. This level of control appeals to those who wish to keep their estate planning adaptable.

A revocable trust is a strategic option for efficient and private management of one’s estate in life and after passing. Setting it up in the proper manner is critical to ensure it accurately relays the grantor’s wishes.