When you are engaged in your estate planning efforts, you should certainly be aware of all of your options. You may be under the impression that people who are not extremely wealthy should use a last will as a vehicle of asset transfer. It can seem as though trusts are only used by millionaires.
While there are certain types of trusts that are used by high net worth individuals, revocable living trusts can be of value to “the rest of us.”
With this type of trust, you as the creator of the trust can serve as the trustee initially. The trustee administers the trust, so you would hold the reins. You can also act as the beneficiary while you are living.
To address the postmortem process, you name a successor trustee to succeed you after you die, and you name successor beneficiaries.
These trusts are often used by people who want to avoid probate. If you use a last will instead of a trust as a vehicle of asset transfer, the will must be probated before the heirs can receive their inheritances. This can take close to a year, even if things go well. More difficult cases can take longer.
Funding a Revocable Living Trust
To fund the revocable living trust, you identify the property that you want to convey into it. When you are establishing the living trust, you create a trust declaration. You could list the property that you are conveying into the trust in the trust declaration.
Another option would be to attach a separate document that is called a schedule.
Since you are handing ownership of the assets over to the trust, you would also change the ownership registration of the property that you are conveying into the trust. However, this should not be a source of concern, because you are going to act as the trustee.
Plus, remember, this is a revocable trust. As the grantor of the trust, you have the power of revocation, and you can dissolve the trust at any time. If you were to do this, the assets in the trust would once again become your direct personal property.
Living Trust Report
Now that you know a little bit about living trusts, you may want to learn more. If you feel this way, download our in-depth special report. The report is free, and you can get your copy here: Free Living Trust Report.
Take the Next Step
We can answer your questions in person if you are serious about creating a revocable living trust. Our firm offers free consultations, and you can send us a message through our contact page to request an appointment: Grand Forks ND Estate Planning Attorneys.