Revocable living trusts are very common today. They are known as a flexible way to manage your assets and a way to avoid probate. However, there are other little known facts about revocable trusts that you may need to know. As you develop your estate plan, consider adding a revocable trust.
Revocable Trusts Can Be Funded with Almost Any Asset
Once a trust document is signed, the grantor needs to transfer property to the trust. This is called funding the trust. Many people assume cash or real estate are the only assets that can be used to fund a trust.
However, the ownership of just about any asset can be transferred to a revocable trust. Along with cash and real estate, the grantor can transfer jewelry, art collections, boats, cars, business interests, and investments. Talk to your attorney before transferring assets. Some property can be passed to your heirs through other means, like beneficiary designations and joint property ownership.
Only Very Wealthy People Benefit from Revocable Trusts
This statement may be one of the primary reasons people don’t talk to an attorney about revocable trusts. Actually, revocable trusts are useful to people of modest means. Some of the more common reasons to form a revocable trust include:
- Incapacity Planning – If you become incapacitated while serving as trustee, your successor trustee can take over immediately. There’s usually no need for a conservatorship.
- Protecting Your Children – Maybe your children are minors and cannot inherit directly or perhaps one of the kids cannot be trusted with a lump sum inheritance. A revocable trust can dole out the inheritance in smaller payments. In addition, you can give the trustee the ability to pay an adult child’s bills instead of handing over cash.
A Revocable Trust Usually Remains Private
When you file a Will, it becomes a public record that anyone can view. The same is true for most documents filed in a probate case.
However, a revocable trust typically does not have to be filed with the Court. As such, the contents of your trust should be kept confidential. One exception that could cause your trust to go public is if someone files a lawsuit involving your trust. Even then, it might be possible to shield some or all of the details from public scrutiny.
Find Out More About Revocable Trusts
Often, people think they will not get any benefit from a trust. However, many of those same people would be amazed to learn how revocable trusts help people every day.
The attorneys at Miller Estate and Elder Law help their clients make informed, thoughtful decisions. Contact Bill Miller at 256-251-2137 to schedule an appointment. Though our office is now located at 818 Leighton Avenue in Anniston, we serve clients in Gadsden, Hoover, Talladega, Vestavia Hills, and surrounding areas.
Also, check out the free legal resources on our website!