A Few Words About Wills and Probate
If you are not extraordinarily wealthy, you may assume that you should use a last will to facilitate future asset transfers. You can go this route, but you should probably consider alternatives so that you can make an informed decision.
Last wills are not as simple as they may seem to be on the surface. When you create a last will, you choose an executor to administer the estate.
The executor cannot immediately distribute assets to the heirs right after you pass away. The last will must be admitted to probate before the heirs can receive their inheritances.
Probate is a legal process, and it can be time-consuming. The process can also be expensive.
Revocable Living Trusts: Retention of Control
When you create a revocable living trust, you do not surrender control of the assets while you are alive and of sound mind. The person creating the trust is called the grantor. If you are the grantor of a revocable living trust, you may also act as the beneficiary and the trustee initially.
As a result, you control the actions of the trust, and you can take monetary distributions from the trust. Because the trust is revocable, you can dissolve the trust entirely if this is your choice.
You can act as the trustee and the beneficiary at first, but the point is to facilitate future asset transfers. When you draw up the trust agreement, you name a successor trustee. You also name successor beneficiaries.
Once you pass away, the successor trustee will be empowered to distribute assets from the trust to the successor beneficiaries. You control the nature of these distributions, because you leave instructions that the successor trustee must follow when you create the trust agreement.
It should be noted that there is an incapacity planning benefit. The successor trustee could be empowered to administer the trust if you were to become incapacitated at some point in time.
Free Report on Revocable Living Trusts
A revocable living trust can be the ideal solution for many people. If you would like to learn more, download our free special report. This report takes an in-depth look at revocable living trusts, and you can obtain easy access through this link: Free Living Trust Report.
Estate Planning Consultation
Our firm offers free consultations to our neighbors here in the Davenport, Bettendorf, and neighboring Quad City area. If you would like to set up an appointment, take a moment to send us a message through our contact page.