Trusts have been used for centuries and revocable living trusts have become more and more popular ever since the 1970s. They are commonly used in foundational estate planning and have many benefits. Here are answers to some frequently-asked estate planning questions.
When is a revocable living trust effective?
Your trust will be effective the moment you sign it. It has both lifetime and after death benefits.
My sister has a trust. Is it a revocable living trust?
If your sister has a trust as part of her own estate planning, it is likely the same type of trust. If your sister is the trustee or beneficiary of a trust set up by someone else, it may or may not be a revocable living trust.
Who should I name as the trustee of my revocable living trust?
While you are alive and well, you can serve as your own trustee. It is also common to name your spouse to serve as trustee with you.
If you become disabled or after you die, you’ll need someone else to act as trustee and carry out your wishes.
Choose trustees (and successor trustees) who care about you and have the following traits:
- Effective communicator
- Good record keeper
- Detail oriented
Is a revocable living trust all I need?
Your trust will have many benefits and accomplishes a lot of your estate planning goals; however, it works in conjunction with ancillary estate planning documents such as:
- Pour-over will
- Financial power of attorney
- Medical power of attorney
- HIPAA release
- Living Will
- Temporary guardians for minors
If you have further questions about the revocable living trust or about estate planning in general, consult with a qualified estate planning attorney.