The revocable living trust is an effective alternative to a simple will. When you have a living trust, you act as the trustee while you are alive so you have access to the assets and nothing really changes. You name a successor trustee to step into the administration role after your passing.
You have the ability to decide how the assets will be distributed after you are gone. If you would like the trustee to pay out a certain amount each month for a number of years, you could include that instruction.
Assets that are in the trust can be protected from the beneficiaries’ creditors after your death because it would become irrevocable. While you are living, you do not surrender control so the assets would not be protected.
The administration process is streamlined because of the consolidation of ownership, and the probate court is not involved. You can give the successor trustee the power to administer the trust in the event of your incapacity.
Many elders experience cognitive impairment at some point in their lives so this is a useful benefit. Obviously, we all hope that we are never in that position, but over 30 percent of people who are 85 years of age and older contract Alzheimer’s disease.
Now that you have a general idea about the value of a living trust, we can address the detail that we want to highlight. You may still have some property titled in your name at the time of your passing if you have a living trust. When you are developing your estate plan, you can place beneficiary designations on many of these assets; for others, you can use a pour-over will to account for this possibility.
It has this name because it facilitates the “pouring over” of your personally held property into the trust after you pass away. The estate administrator would need the approval of the court, but only for assets that were not already included in the trust.
Advance Directives for Health Care
Speaking of wills and the broader estate plan, you should have a living will to express your life support preferences. To account for medical decision-making scenarios that are not related to the use of life-support, you should have a durable power of attorney for health care.
A HIPAA release should be added to give your agent the legal right to access the medical information. As we have stated, a disability trustee that you name would be in place to manage assets in the trust if necessary, and you can add a durable power of attorney for property.
Attend a Free Webinar!
We conduct estate planning webinars periodically, and you can walk away with a great deal of important knowledge if you join us. There is no charge, and they couldn’t be any more convenient, so you should definitely take advantage of the opportunity.
You can head over to our webinar schedule page to see the dates, and if you see something that works for you, follow the simple instructions to register.
Need Help Now?
At some point, it is time to stop learning and start acting. If that time is now, we will be more than glad to work with you to develop a custom crafted plan that is ideal for you and your family.
The personalized attention is key because every situation is unique. There are different approaches that can be taken, and we will learn about your situation and advise you accordingly.
You can schedule a consultation at our Huntersville, NC or Charlotte, NC estate planning office if you give us a call at 704-944-3245, and our Ashland, KY location can be reached at 606-324-5516. Our Florence, KY location can be reached at 859-372-6655. If you would rather send us a message, fill out our contact form and we will get back in touch with you promptly.