Many people become hardwired to the idea that a last will is the only logical estate planning document to use if you are not extraordinarily wealthy. In reality, this is not the case at all. Yes, there are trusts that are used by high net worth individuals who are exposed to estate taxes, but there is another type of trust that can be ideal for “the rest of us.”
The type of trust that we are referring to is a revocable living trust. Another misconception that people harbor about trusts is the idea that you completely surrender control of assets that you convey into any type of trust. With a revocable living trust, this is not the case at all.
As you can see from the name of the trust, you can revoke or dissolve the trust whenever you want to, so you are not bound by the decision forever if you change your mind. If you want to, you can simply take back direct personal possession of the assets.
This is not the only level of control that you have when you utilize a revocable living trust as the centerpiece of your estate plan. The trustee is the trust administrator. You can act as the trustee while you are alive and well, so you control the trust every step of the way.
The ultimate goal is to get assets into the hands of your heirs after you pass away. To achieve this, you name a successor trustee to administer the trust after you are gone, and you name beneficiaries who will receive monetary distributions after your death.
With a living trust, you are not permanently tied to your original decisions with regard to your beneficiary designations. If you want to change the beneficiaries in any way, you can do so, and the process is not especially complicated if you work with a licensed estate planning attorney.
We should also point out that you can change the successor trustee designation as well. Plus, you can convey assets into the trust after you create it, and of course you can remove assets from the trust along the way.
Detailed Living Trust Information
We have provided a brief overview in this blog post. If you would like to obtain more detailed information about the value a revocable living trust,we have a comprehensive resource that you can access through this website.
Our firm has taken the time to create an electronic library of special reports that cover many different important estate planning and elder law topics. One of the reports is all about living trusts.
These reports are free, and you can access the living trust report here: Charlotte NC Living Trusts.