Discussing the Revocable Living Trust

January 15, 2011

Update (December 2014): Please see our recent news article on protecting your home with an Irrevocable Trust. Also see Using Trusts to Protect Assets from Nursing Homes.

The Revocable Living Trust is one of the most powerful tools that an estate planning attorney can use to help clients avoid probate and to direct the use of client assets during lifetime and following death.

By no means the only way to avoid probate, the Revocable Living Trust is often the best way to do so. Through the use of a Revocable Living Trust you can determine who will be in charge of your affairs during your life and following your death. Normally, you will be the trustee and remain in charge of your affairs — unless you become incompetent. Moreover, you will be able to effect changes to the trust or reclaim assets from the trust at anytime, provided that you are still mentally competent. After you die, and unless the trust provides otherwise, the Revocable Living Trust becomes Irrevocable and the provisions as you set forth during your lifetime will be followed.

In addition to avoiding probate, a Revocable Living Trust can allow your trustee to assume control of the trust, should you become too sick to manage your own financial affairs. A Revocable Living Trust can help keep your financial affairs private, can possibly reduce estate taxes, attorney fees and costs, as well as protect your assets for other beneficiaries such as children and other loved ones. A Revocable Living Trust may also shorten any potential delay in distributing your assets after you pass away.

A Revocable Living Trust, however, will not protect assets from a nursing home. If your goal is to protect assets from a nursing home, an Irrevocable Trust or other Elder Law estate planning options are more likely to provide the safeguards you seek.

Wokwicz Law Offices, LLC welcomes the opportunity to discuss your estate plan and to determine if a Revocable Living Trust is right for your unique situation. We have a great deal of experience in estate planning, having crafted thousands of estate plans for our Kenosha-area clients, helping them avoid the cost, time and headache of probate. Please contact us if we can be of service.

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This article is intended as general legal information and not as legal advice to any particular client, nor is it intended as advice on any particular issue or matter. If you have any questions regarding the subject matter of this article, or wish to discuss how the subject matter of this article may apply to your situation, please contact us.