This is the third installment of a four-part series designed to address the estate planning questions we receive most often from our clients.
1. What is a Revocable Living Trust?
A trust is a written document that involves you, the creator or trustor; the trustee, who manages the trust in a fiduciary capacity; and the beneficiaries, who will benefit now or later from the trust. A “living” trust is created during the trustor’s lifetime and may be revocable, which means you retain full control over the trust terms and trust property during your competent lifetime.
2. Which assets go into my Trust?
Most of your assets should go into your Trust., including for example, your business, your home and other real estate, stocks and other investments. Many Living Trusts also include jewelry, clothes, art, furniture, and other assets that do not have titles. Some beneficiary designations (for example, insurance policies) should also be changed to your Trust so the court cannot control them if a beneficiary is incapacitated or no longer living when you die.
3. Do I lose control of the assets in my Trust?
No. One of the major benefits of a Trust is that you keep full control of the assets and the distribution thereof. The trustee of your Trust, you or whoever you appoint, can do anything you could do before — buy and sell assets, change or even cancel your trust. That’s why it’s called “revocable”. You even file the same tax returns. Nothing changes except for the names on the titles.
4. Is a living trust expensive?
A Living Trust initially costs more to set up than a Will, but is much less much expensive overall once you factor in the all of the costs of court interference at incapacity and death. Furthermore, the Trust may be drafted to ensure significant state estate tax saving for you and your family. How much you pay will depend primarily on your goals and what you want to accomplish.
For assistance with any legal needs related to your business or estate planning, contact Fournier Legal Services at email@example.com or 860.670.3535 now for a free consultation and planning session.
Joe received his law degree from the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill School of Law and his Accounting degree from the University of Rhode Island. He is admitted to practice law in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, and he is a CPA. He is an Adjunct Professor and lecturer at the University level and has been a frequent speaker on business planning and legal matters.