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A trust is a vehicle many people use to allocate their assets to beneficiaries when they die or if they become incapacitated. There are many types of trusts. For the purposes of estate planning, individuals commonly use revocable and irrevocable trusts.
If you pass away without any legal documents outlining your wishes, you’ll become “intestate,” which means your state’s laws will determine the future of your estate. To avoid this issue, a revocable living trust might be a good solution.
A revocable trust works like a will in that it includes the plan for your assets upon your death. However, unlike a will, this type of trust can also allow you to manage your property during your lifetime. It can also authorize the successor trustee to manage your property for your benefit if you become incapacitated. If that situation arises, there will be no need to appoint a guardian, and your trustee can immediately step in to manage the assets in the trust for your benefit.
You will be able to modify a revocable trust as needed throughout your lifetime.
If your estate may be subject to federal estate tax, you might consider implementing an irrevocable trust. An irrevocable trust cannot be modified or revoked after a person establishes it. Once the assets are transferred to the trust, they no longer belong to the person who once owned them. Instead, they become the legal property of the trustee to hold for the designated beneficiaries.
It’s important to carefully consider which assets fund the trust and how losing control over those assets might impact your life.
Choosing the right estate and trust planning tools is a complex decision. If you’re ready to protect your assets, contact our firm to schedule a consultation. We can discuss your wishes, explain your options, and help you move forward the right way.