If you are interested in legally protecting your assets, you may consider a trust to help keep them safe until the time comes for them to be distributed. There are many advantages to a revocable living trust, including the ability to:
- Make changes to the trust or close the trust at any point during your lifetime.
- Maintain privacy.
- Avoid probate.
- Minimize estate taxes.
Creating a revocable trust
The process for creating a revocable trust is fairly straightforward. Take the following steps to create your own revocable trust.
- Name a successor trustee: While you can serve as trustee over your own trust during your lifetime, the successor trustee you choose will take over once you can no longer make decisions for yourself. Upon your death, the trustee will take over and oversee the distribution of your trust assets as specified by you as the grantor. A trustee is responsible for managing the assets in the trust, so it is important to choose someone trustworthy who can handle the responsibility.
- Take inventory of your assets: The next step will be coming up with a complete list of assets and determining which assets to include in your trust.
- Create the trust document and get it notarized: Create a written agreement that includes the name of your successor trustee and your beneficiaries, and make sure you follow all state regulations. Then, sign the document and have it notarized.
- Transfer assets: An estate planning attorney can help you transfer your assets, including financial accounts and real estate, into the trust.
The estate planning process can be complicated, as there are many possible tools you can use to have your assets distributed upon your death. If you are not sure where to start, an estate planning attorney can help determine whether a revocable trust will benefit you and your beneficiaries.