On the surface estate planning can seem like a purely financial endeavor. However, most senior citizens experience a gradual decline before they pass away. You are generally not completely healthy one day and dead the next.
There are certain contingencies that you face as you grow older, and comprehensive estate planning involves addressing these possibilities. This can be done in part through the creation of a revocable living trust.
The vehicle of asset transfer known as the revocable living trust is typically utilized as a probate avoidance tool. Probate is a legal process that enters the picture when you pass away in direct personal possession of property that you want distributed to your heirs.
If you just hold onto everything that you own and direct the transfer of these assets to your loved ones in your will property that is deemed probate property must pass through this process.
It can be time-consuming, and it can be costly. Plus, anyone can access the probate records and know everything about your final affairs.
When you digest the above you can see why people sometimes choose to avoid probate.
Another thing that makes revocable living trust so attractive is the fact that you can include an incapacity component. If you were to become incapacitated as a senior citizen there would be the need for a representative to make decisions in your behalf.
The state can be petitioned to decide who will make financial decisions in your behalf once you are incapacitated. If that’s doesn’t sound so appealing, you can create a revocable living trust and name a disability trustee.
This successor trustee that you are comfortable with would be empowered to handle the trust should you become incapacitated at some point in time.
Duffy Law Office is a member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys.