The Business Mentoring Center
The Business Mentoring Center

Mentor Article

Five Reasons to Establish a Revocable Trust

Stacey Edwards Jones
  1. Plan for Disability. Unlike a Will, a Revocable Trust allows you to plan for incapacity. This can be especially useful for small business owners. A trust is an effective way to ensure that the grantor’s assets will be used for his or her benefit in the event he or she becomes incapable of managing his or her own affairs.
  2. Enjoy Flexibility. A Revocable Trust is a flexible instrument that can be changed as the grantor’s estate planning needs change. The grantor can freely add or remove property during his or her lifetime and amend or revoke the trust. The grantor can choose to name a co-trustee to serve with him or her and the grantor maintains control over the trust assets.
  3. Avoid Probate. Generally speaking, a properly funded trust will keep the grantor’s estate out of probate. This is one of the prevailing reasons individuals utilize a Revocable Trust. While the emergence of simplistic estate planning tools, for example, Transfer on Death Deeds and Payable On Death designations, have given individuals a means to avoid probate without the need for a trust, for any individual whose estate is subject to estate tax or the estate plan includes a minor heir, a desire for asset management or ownership interests in a business, a Revocable Trust is typically the most suitable tool.
  4. Immediate Availability of Assets Upon Death. Successor trustees are able to almost immediately access the trust assets upon the death of the grantor. This eases the financial burden on the administrators of an estate when there are expenses such as funeral costs, debt service or medical expenses that need to be paid. If an estate is subject to probate, it can take two to four months for the Personal Representative to be appointed and Letters Testamentary issued.
  5. Asset Management. Trusts offer an asset management feature that Wills do not. The grantor can direct when and how his or her beneficiaries will inherit, for example at what ages or upon what conditions. Real estate can be held long-term for beneficiaries to enjoy the income stream derived therefrom. There is a continuity in the management of investable assets, since the successor trustee can step in to manage the trust accounts upon the disability or death of the grantor without the need for account transfers or reregistering securities.

A Revocable Trust is a valuable estate planning tool for many individuals. Talk to your estate planning attorney today to discuss if a Revocable Trust is right for you.

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