Is A Revocable Living Trust For Me?

A revocable living trust is a beneficial estate planning tool that can be used to determine who gets your assets and property when you pass away. In essence, a trust is a legal agreement created by one person (the "settlor" or "grantor") with another person or entity serving as the trustee. The trustee holds legal title to assets that are moved into the trust and, upon the grantor's death, the trustee must distribute the trust assets pursuant to the grantor's instructions in the trust.

Revocable living trusts are "living" because they are created during your lifetime. You may name yourself as the trustee of your own trust. The trust should name successor trustees in the event you can no longer serve as trustee because of incapacity, resignation or death. The trust is completely revocable and amendable during your lifetime as long as you are competent.

What Are The Pros Of A Revocable Living Trust?

At the Law Office of Deborah N. Arthur, our attorneys always have your best interest in mind. To that end, we are dedicated to helping you make sure your estate is in order and your assets and beneficiaries protected once you are gone. With over 30 years of experience, we know how to listen to your concerns, develop solutions that satisfy your needs and provide a valuable service that makes your life — and the lives of your loved ones — easier.

Is a revocable living trust right for you? That depends on your specific situation and particular needs, which are issues we can help you address during a free consultation. In the meantime, here are some of the pros and cons of creating a revocable living trust.

Benefits of a revocable living trust:

  • Avoiding probate — One positive aspect of creating a revocable living trust is to avoid probate. You can retitle assets to your trust — such as bank accounts, real estate, etc.—to name the trust as beneficiary, thereby allowing such assets to pass outside of probate. By avoiding probate, you avoid the probate tax and other costs associated with filing accountings with the Commissioner of Accounts. At our office we can also draft you a "pour-over will" which states that any assets you left outside of your trust would go to your trust at your death. Thus, only a few of your assets, if any, would need to be probated at your death if you didn't move them into your trust during your lifetime. Additionally, many people may own real estate interests in other states. By retitling such real estate into your trust, you can avoid the need for multiple probate proceedings in multiple states.
  • Privacy — Another positive aspect of the revocable living trust is privacy. When a will is probated, the will becomes a public record, as does a list of your assets in what is called an inventory. By moving your assets into your trust, you keep those assets private. Additionally, your trust would not be a public record as it is not probated, so your desires in how you want your estate distributed at your death do not become a public record.
  • Automatic succession — By naming a successor trustee of your trust, you have already named who you want to take care of your assets that you have moved into your trust in the case you become unable to handle such assets due to disability or incompetency. This, along with a financial power of attorney, can avoid the possibility of court proceedings to appoint a conservator for you in the future if necessary.
  • Quicker liquidity — In many situations, by having your assets in a revocable living trust your successor trustee may begin handling your assets and distributing your assets to your beneficiaries after you pass away much quicker than if all of your assets had to be probated.

Contact Us Today For A Free Consultation

Please call the Law Office of Deborah N. Arthur today at 703-278-2028, or contact us online, to discuss the possibility of creating a revocable living trust as part of your estate plan. We want to meet your goals and desires every step of the way. From our office in Annandale, we help people throughout Northern Virginia.