February 14 was Valentine’s Day! Just think of it: romance, roses, candlelight dinners… and, of course, chocolate!
What in the world could be better than that?
Only one thing that we can think of… a Revocable Living trust.
What is a Revocable Living Trust?
More commonly called a “Living Trust” (or, sometimes, “inter vivos trust” or “revocable trust”) these trusts are an estate planning tool that we frequently use to avoid the costly and time-consuming snares of probate.
A trust (any trust) is a legal document that authorizes someone to hold and manage assets (property, money, stocks etc.). Depending on what state you are in, the person who creates the trust is called a “declarant,” a “trustor,” a “grantor,” or a “settlor.” The person who manages the trust is called the “trustee.” And the people who benefit from the trust (i.e., the ones who get the money or property or have it managed for their benefit) are called the “beneficiaries.”
As long as the Living Trust is not tax sensitive, the same person can be the trustor, the trustee and the beneficiary of a Living Trust.
What does a Revocable Living Trust Do?
A well-drafted Living Trust can be used to distribute a person’s assets after his (or her) death.
Because assets placed into a Living Trust are in the name of the trust and not the name of the decedent (the person who owns them and then dies), they do not have to go through probate to get distributed the way property left in a Last Will and Testament does. That is a big reason why we love Living Trusts. They help you to avoid the costs and delay of probate.
Another advantage of a Living Trust is that, much like a power of attorney, it can be used to manage a person’s assets if they become incapacitated. This does not mean that you do not need to have other healthcare documents in place, such as a living will and certain powers of attorney, if you have a Living Trust — you do. It just means that if you are the trustee of your Living Trust, we will make sure to name two successor trustees who can manage the trust assets if you should become incapacitated and/or at your passing.
Falling in Love With Revocable Living Trusts?
If you love your family and want to make sure your estate is settled smoothly and your assets are distributed the way you want them to be, call us. We can help you develop a Legacy Estate Plan that meets your needs. Our offices are in Sedona, Arizona but we serve Verde Valley and all of Arizona. We offer free consultations and we can help you with all your estate planning needs. Contact us to set up your free appointment.