For most people, a last will and testament is sufficient to convey their property according to their wishes and to serve as the basis for their estate plan. For others, a revocable living trust is a better choice. Only you and a qualified estate planning attorney can make the decision as to which is best for you and your family.
A revocable living trust is a legal document through which a person or institution (the trustee) holds assets of a person (the grantor) for the use or benefit of another person (the beneficiary). It can be revoked or amended anytime, and it becomes operative at the time it is executed and funded with assets. In my law practice most often the grantor, trustee and beneficiary of this type of trust are the same person or persons.
What are the advantages of using a revocable living trust in your estate plan? If all of your assets are placed in the trust, your family will avoid the trouble and expense of probating your will at your death. This type of trust can provide asset management and protection for the beneficiary that becomes incompetent, for a minor child, for a special needs child, and even for an adult child, who is not ready to handle significant sums of money. Privacy is another attractive feature of the revocable living trust, because it does not become a part of public records as does a last will and testament.
If you are interested in learning more about whether a last will and testament or a revocable living trust is best for you, please contact our office to set up an appointment with one of our attorneys.