Revocable Trust Lawyer
If you’ve ever watched someone deal with the probate process—or you’ve had to go through the process after the death of a family member—you know what a long, tangled, and frustrating ordeal it can be. It hurts to watch someone struggle with legal requirements while they are grieving and trying to adjust to the loss.
And that probate process could start even before you pass away. If you become incapacitated during your lifetime, living probate situations, such as conservatorships, will arise if you don’t make other arrangements ahead of time.
You don’t want your loved ones to endure the aggravation or expenses of probate. And fortunately, with help from the Huizenga Law team, they won’t have to.
We Can Help Your Loved Ones Avoid Probate
At Huizenga Law, we develop plans to help protect your future and to prepare your family for the transitions that come along with life. We know that you want to make the process as worry-free as possible without adding unnecessary expenses.
Our process centers on discerning what is best for your particular situation, and creating the means to reach your goals in the way that is right for you, personally.
For example, a revocable living trust is a useful tool for avoiding probate, but before we set one up, we will take the time to ensure that it is the best option for your specific situation. If a revocable trust is the right tool, we will also work to ensure that you understand how it operates and what you need to do to keep it functioning both now and in the future.
How a Revocable Trust Can Help
When you set up a revocable trust and transfer property into it, that property can pass to your loved ones directly after you pass away. The property does not become part of your legal estate, and that means those assets do not need to go through the court-supervised probate process. This saves your family money on legal fees and it allows them to receive property much more quickly.
In addition, when you pass your property through a trust rather than through the public probate process, all matters are handled privately. When property passes through a traditional will, the will has to be filed with the court, the court must approve everything, and the process is lengthy and public. With a revocable trust, assets pass quickly and privately.
As an added benefit, your revocable trust can be set up so that if you become incapacitated and unable to manage your own financial affairs, someone you trust can legally step in and handle everything on your behalf. In scenarios of incapacitation or serious illness, having a revocable trust in place means that the trust’s terms will dictate how your assets are managed, potentially avoiding the need for a court-appointed conservator to step in and make decisions on the individual’s behalf and sparing loved ones from additional legal complications and distress.
So, a trust protects you during your lifetime and makes life easier for loved ones when you pass away.
Understanding Revocable Trusts
Trusts are legal devices set up to hold property. The person who creates the trust will transfer property into the trust. That person is often referred to as the grantor (since they grant property to the trust) or the settlor. Property moved into the trust is then managed by the trustee, and the property is distributed or used by the beneficiary.
As the name indicates, a revocable trust can be revoked if you change your mind after creating it. You could also alter the trust or take property out of it. That provides considerable flexibility and makes it much easier to transfer interests into the trust. A revocable trust is also sometimes referred to as a revocable living trust because it takes effect during your lifetime.
Other types of trusts include irrevocable trusts, which are less flexible, and testamentary trusts, which are set up in a will and do not officially exist until the creator of the will passes away.
How Your Revocable Trust Will Work
With most revocable trusts, the person who creates the trust also serves as the trustee and enjoys the benefits as the beneficiary. That means you can still use and control your property just as you did before it was moved into the trust. Because of the revocable nature of the trust, the assets in the trust are still viewed as belonging to you, and income from that property is still associated with your personal taxes.
Once you’ve signed the documents and transferred assets into the trust, you won’t notice much difference. The key is that the documents will not only name you as primary trustee and beneficiary but will also name an alternate trustee and alternate beneficiaries. These people will take over after you pass away. The alternate trustee will pay any remaining bills and then distribute property to the alternate beneficiaries. They will not need to apply to the court for authority and comply with probate requirements. The process is smooth and easy.
Help Your Family by Creating a Revocable Trust
While most people do not look forward to making plans for their own death or incapacity, they realize it is worse to leave that burden to their families. By creating a revocable trust, you can save your family from uncertainty, expense, and delays after your passing.
You also give them an effective means to manage your affairs if an illness or injury renders you unable to make or communicate your own decisions. If they instead have to apply for guardianship, the legal process will be lengthy, difficult, and expensive.
A revocable living trust can make life easier for your loved ones in many ways. Talk to Huizenga Law to find out whether a revocable trust is the right option for your family.