Creating Your Revocable Living Trust

Transferring Your Estate Without Probate

Wills are a well-known option to arrange for the transfer of an estate. Similarly, revocable living trusts are used to easily transfer assets to beneficiaries, but unlike wills, allow certain assets to avoid going through the probate process. Trusts are different than wills in terms of what types of assets they can hold, but have several benefits over wills in arranging for the transfer of financial assets.

Revocable living trusts are one of the most common forms of trusts. The term "revocable" refers to the ability one has to add, take away, or change any of the assets within the trust, even after it has been completely drafted. This means that throughout one's life, as business and finances change, the person who has placed their assets in a trust still has the option to make changes as long as the estate owner is mentally competent.

What can a trust do?

Specifically, a revocable trust is a drafted document outlining an agreement to place one's estate in the hands of a designated person, known as a trustee. A trustee can be anyone the owner trusts to manage their assets, such as a spouse, a close friend, a financial consultant, or an attorney. Upon the passing of the estate owner, the trustee will be tasked with administering the trust by passing on the right assets to their designated beneficiaries.

The only thing that a trust cannot hold, in comparison with a will, are small personal belongings, family treasures, and random keepsakes. Trusts are intended for the preservation of financial assets with formal titles of ownership, which may include:

  • Real estate property
  • Stocks, bonds and security accounts held by brokers
  • Small business interests, stocks and limited liability company shares
  • Patents or copyrights
  • Any valuable item with a formal title of ownership such as artwork, precious metals or antique collections

Across the board, the most well-known benefit of using a trust to transfer assets is the fact that no probate is required in its administration after the death of the creator. This means that trust administration is carried out without the involvement of a court or court representative immediately following the individual's passing. The trustee will arrange the proper transfers of title and see the wishes of the creator through until the beneficiaries have what is rightfully theirs.

To learn more about revocable living trusts and how Scott D. Fisher, A Professional Law Corporationhas the resources to help you draft yours, contact our firm today and schedule a consultation. You can also reach us via our 24-hour voicemail service at 323-989-4860.