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Why should you have a revocable living trust?

Many people think of trusts as something that only people with considerable assets have. However, many California estate planning attorneys recommend revocable trusts for clients who have average-sized and small estates.

Revocable trusts make it easier for executors to distribute the assets of an estate relatively quickly and easily after a person is gone. With a revocable trust, it's easier to keep an estate out of probate. As we've discussed before, probate can be a costly and time-consuming process for heirs. Further, if an estate doesn't go through probate, the information in it isn't made public.

A revocable trust can also help if a person becomes physically or mentally incapacitated and unable to take care of paying bills and other financial obligations. With a revocable trust, the successor trustee can take over those responsibilities.

To place your assets in a revocable trust, you will need to retitle them. The assets in a revocable trust often include bank accounts and property, such as homes. As long as the grantor of the trust is alive and well, he or she can continue to handle the assets as he or she chooses. That includes adding or removing assets at any time. That's why it's called a revocable living trust. Some people may choose to have a co-trustee if they have a significant number of assets that they need help managing.

Your estate planning attorney can provide more information about how a revocable living trust can make life handling your estate easier for you and your loved ones based on your individual situation. He or she can also describe how it fits in with the rest of your estate planning documents.

Source: The New York Times, "Life After Your Death? Here’s Why You Should Have a Trust," Elizabeth Olson, March 22, 2018

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