Many different estate planning tools can be used to help you accomplish your overall goals. These may address individual aspects of your estate plan but also work together to ensure that your bigger goals are addressed and achieved during your life and after you pass away. The use of a revocable living trust is one such opportunity. This helps you plan for potential incapacity, and when used properly, keeps those assets inside the trust outside of probate.
You must retitle your property so that it becomes a formal asset of the trust, but this means you can avoid probate since the property is no longer individually owned by you.
You serve as the trustee during the course of your life at which point after you pass away, your successor trustee distributes that trust property according to the ultimate beneficiaries, or in line with any terms in the trust agreement. Most clients will serve as their own trustee and hold the trust property for their own benefit at the time the trust is created and funded.
At the time of incapacity, however, this allows for the appointment of the successor trustee to care for the trust property for the benefit of the overall client. Creating a revocable living trust does not eliminate the need for a will, instead it is often the case that both of these documents and strategies must be used together to accomplish your overall goals. Contact a dedicated estate planning lawyer today to learn more about your options.