Many people assume that a last will is the only way to go because they feel as though a will is the simplest estate planning document. In reality, things can get rather complicated when you utilize a will to state your final wishes.
The executor of the estate is the person who would handle the estate administration tasks after you die. If you create a will, you name an executor.
The executor would be forced to admit the will to probate after your passing. During this process, the probate court would supervise the administration of the estate. The heirs would not receive their inheritances until after the estate was probated and closed by the court.
This can be an expensive and time-consuming process so it can have a negative impact on the inheritors.
You could choose to use a revocable living trust as an alternative to a last will as a vehicle of asset transfer. Property that you conveyed into the revocable living trust would be transferred to the beneficiaries after your passing outside of the probate process.
The Role of Trustee
If you create a revocable living trust, you are called the grantor of the trust. The grantor of the trust will typically act as the trustee initially. As the trustee, you would control the actions of the trust, and you could make changes and take monetary distributions as you see fit.
Ultimately, you need someone to administer the trust after you pass away so that your estate planning wishes can come to fruition. To make this happen, you name a successor trustee when you draw up the trust agreement.
Who can act as the successor trustee? From a legal perspective, any adult who is of sound mind can technically act as a living trust successor trustee. You could name someone that you know to act as the trustee.
However, you could alternately utilize a professional fiduciary entity such as a bank or a trust company. The company will always be there so there are no longevity concerns. With a corporate trustee you have inherent oversight, and the trust would be administered by someone with experience.
When you weigh all the factors, a corporate trustee may be a better option for many people.
Regardless of the decision that you make with regard to the trustee that you use to handle the trust administration tasks, your family may not know exactly what to do after you pass away.
When you work with an estate planning attorney to create a revocable living trust, or any other type of trust for that matter, you could establish a long-term relationship. In fact, you can bring your successor to the consultation if you choose to do so.
You could arrange for your estate planning attorney to work with your successor after your passing to help with the trust administration process. In this manner, there would be a ready resource in place, and you would be providing a turnkey situation for your loved ones.
Subsequently, your surviving family members would be able to continue this relationship going forward so your family legacy would be handled with continuity.
When you begin a relationship with an estate planning attorney, you are sharing sensitive personal information. When your family gets to know your lawyer over time, things are much more comfortable, and your attorney will have a thorough understanding of the circumstances.
Learn More About Trust Administration
If you have reached our website, you are looking for estate planning information. Hopefully, you have found this particular article to be useful, and you can visit our blog regularly to keep yourself informed.
In addition to the articles that we publish on our blog, we have taken things a step further. Our firm has prepared numerous different in-depth special reports. These reports cover important estate planning and elder law topics, and they have been carefully crafted to provide down-to-earth explanations that anyone can understand.
You can download any or all of these reports free of charge at the present time. One of the reports is dedicated to the subject of living trust administration, and you can build on the knowledge that you attained today if you download your copy.
To obtain access to the download, click this link and follow the simple instructions: Free Living Trust Administration Report.