Revocable Living Trust Attorney Proudly Serving Livonia and Surrounding Areas

Trusts are legal arrangements that can provide incredible flexibility for the ownership of certain assets, thereby enabling you and your heirs to achieve a number of significant personal goals that cannot be achieved otherwise.  The term trust describes the holding of property by a trustee, which may be one or more persons or a corporate trust company or bank, in accordance with the provisions of a contract, the written trust instrument, for the benefit of one or more persons called beneficiaries.  The trustee is the legal owner of the trust property, and the beneficiaries are the equitable owners of the trust property. 

What Are Revocable Living Trusts?

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A common trust is the Revocable Living Trust.  This is a trust that can be revoked by the Grantor. The Grantor/Grantors transfer legal title of their assets including homes and bank accounts to the name of the trust.  As long as you, the Grantor, are alive and have capacity, you can manage the trust assets as you always have.  The only difference you will notice is that title to the assets will be changed.  Instead of owning your home or bank accounts as Jane Smith, title will reflect “Jane Smith, Trustee of the Smith Family Trust”.

Simply put, a revocable living trust is a document that allows individuals to continue to own and control their property while they are alive, then transfer it to whoever they want after they die, all while avoiding probate.  This important estate planning tool is very appealing to Michigan residents because of its flexibility.

What Are the Benefits of a Revocable Living Trusts?

Like a will, a Living Trust is a legal document that provides for the management and distribution of your assets after you pass away.  However, a Revocable Living Trust has advantages as compared to a will.  A Revocable Living Trusts allows for the immediate transfer of assets after death without the need for court intervention.  It also allows for the management of your affairs during cases of incapacity, without the need for a conservatorship or guardianship process.  Additional benefits include…

  • Avoids the probate court process, saving in court costs and fees

  • Provides protections for children who are not ready to receive an inheritance due to age, immaturity, addiction concerns, or other issues

  • Helps provide guidance to loved ones to make intelligent decisions with their inheritance

  • Provides protection for you in the event you become mentally disabled without the need for court intervention

  • Allows for advanced planning including special needs, buy-sell agreements, cottage agreements, and blended family planning.

 

Joint Trusts, are a form of a revocable trust that also offer the advantage of a revocable trust and is an ideal estate planning vehicle for married couples who do not have children from previous relationships.  Sometimes referred to as the Ozzy and Harriet marriage. 

While trusts are important estate planning tools, they are not needed for every comprehensive estate plan.  It is important to consult with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney to discuss your individual plans and desires.

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Proudly Serving Livonia and Surrounding Areas

What Assets Should be Transferred to My Revocable Living Trust?

A Revocable Living Trust needs to be funded to fulfill its purpose. Funding a trust means that the creator of the trust must re-title assets from their individual name, into the name of the trust.  For certain assets, this may mean designating your trust as the beneficiary. It is important to consult with a Michigan estate planning attorney before deciding to designate your trust as the beneficiary of a retirement plan such as an IRA or 401k.

 

Keeping your Revocable Living Trust funded is a continuing process. Newly acquired assets should be placed in the name of the trust to be managed by the trust terms.  Matt Devitt Law, PLC is proud to offer continuing funding support to our clients which helps provide peace of mind once an estate plan is put in place.

 

While many people can benefit from a well drafted revocable living trust, if you still have questions, Matt would welcome the opportunity to sit down together during a free consultation and discuss the benefits of drafting a revocable living trust as part of a comprehensive estate plan.