Protecting Your Family’s Future With a Revocable Living Trust
Revocable living trusts have become one of the most popular estate planning tools in Florida and across the country. There are several reasons for this, but it is important to emphasize that no single estate plan is “right” for everyone. Our Palm Beach County revocable living trust lawyer can review your estate, help you understand your options, and provide you with experienced advice about whether a revocable living trust is right for you.
Revocable Living Trusts Explained
A trust is a legal arrangement whereby a trustee holds legal title to, and manages, assets for the benefit of the trust’s beneficiaries. When you create a trust, you fund it by transferring ownership of certain assets into the trust. Usually, this would mean surrendering access to and control over those assets. For many people, this may not be an attractive arrangement.
Revocable living trusts offer much greater flexibility than irrevocable trusts with respect to future modifications. As the name implies, you can revoke or terminate the trust at any time before your death or incapacitation. Additionally, you can name yourself as trustee and retain full authority to manage the trust assets and use them for your benefit.
Creating a revocable living trust may seem like the obvious solution to your estate planning needs. However, it is important to remember that such trusts come with advantages and disadvantages of which you should be aware.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of a Revocable Living Trust
In addition to their flexibility, most people create a revocable living trust because it allows them to avoid probate. Probate can be costly and time-consuming, absorbing a significant portion of the estate’s value. On the other hand, a trust allows for seamless administration according to your wishes even after you die.
The principal disadvantage of a trust is that it is likely to be slightly more expensive “upfront.” However, when compared to the cost of probating trust assets, the ultimate savings is extraordinary. A Palm Beach County revocable trust lawyer can help you understand how these advantages and disadvantages apply to your estate plan and help you create a trust that best serves your estate planning goals, namely how trusts may be used for asset protection of the beneficiaries in certain situations.
The Role of the Trustee
Most people who create a revocable living trust name themselves as trustees. The reason is obvious - naming yourself as trustee allows you to retain control over the assets you have transferred into the trust. Unfortunately, while it is not a significant issue during your lifetime, it is important to understand the crucial role that the trustee plays in administering a trust.
The trustee has a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of the beneficiaries when managing and administering the trust. Typically, this is not an issue when you are serving as the trustee. However, you need to understand this role when it comes to naming a successor trustee (the person responsible for administering the trust after you die or are incapacitated). As a result, the person you name as trustee or successor trustee should be someone you trust who has the knowledge and abilities to discharge their obligations under the trust agreement.
Contact a Palm Beach County Revocable Trust Lawyer to Discuss Your Estate Planning Needs
At Comiter, Singer, Baseman & Braun, we work closely with our clients to understand their estate planning goals. From there, we help them develop a fully-personalized estate plan that is tailored to meet their unique needs. If you are considering creating a revocable living trust, call us today at 800-226-1484 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with an experienced Palm Beach County revocable living trust lawyer.