Revocable Living Trusts
A Revocable Trust is the most common non-testamentary tool in the estate planning toolkit. A Revocable Trust can provide for your needs, or the needs of others, during your lifetime. A revocable trust requires a grantor, a trustee and a beneficiary. A grantor funds the trust, a trustee manages the assets of the trust, and a beneficiary is the benefited target of the trust. A revocable trust may designate a successor trustee who manages the trust and after the death, resignation or incapacity of the original trustee. Successor beneficiaries can also be identified.
One of the major benefits of a revocable trust is that it avoids probate and surrogates court proceedings, although avoidance of probate is not always either necessary or desirable. While Probate can be a long and expensive process, it is not always so. Trusts also provide access to the assets of the trust immediately. For some purposes, this can be a very desirable benefit, as during probate your beneficiaries to not have access to the assets of the estate until the probate proceeding is completed. However, certain assets do not require a trust to accomplish this goal.
You can amend or revoke a revocable trust, as trustee, during your lifetime. However upon your death the terms of the trust become irrevocable and the assets are distribute as determined by the terms of the trust.
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