Revocable Living Trusts
A revocable trust can be a solution for a number of issues that arise in estate planning which a will cannot address. The term “living trust” is generally used to describe a trust that you create during your lifetime. A living trust can help you manage your assets or protect you should you become ill, disabled, or simply challenged by the symptoms of aging. A living trust can be written to permit you to revoke or amend the trust whenever you wish to do so. The trust does help you avoid probate, and the costs and complexity of probate proceedings.
At the Lang Law Office, our experienced attorneys will take the time to explain your options.
How Revocable Trusts Can help You
Revocable trusts have many benefits, no matter what your estate looks like. Some of the primary areas in which a revocable trust can be of use include:
- Avoiding probate: A revocable trust provides a shelter for your assets. By directing their disposition during life, your trust provides a sort of instruction manual to your appointed trustee, and allows much of your estate to pass, as you direct, outside the jurisdiction of the probate court. This can save you and your heirs time, money, and effort, and may help avoid litigation against a party who might otherwise attempt to challenge the validity of a will.
- Eliminating conservatorships/guardianships: A trust provides that your appointed trustee, a person pre-selected by you, will have the authority to control your financial and other assets during any period of temporary or permanent incapacity as a result of illness or mental condition. This pre-selection will eliminate the need for potentially-expensive litigation and the risk of embarrassment inherent to the courtroom proceeding involved with the appointment of a guardian or conservator.
- Ensuring the financial security of your loved ones: While want to avoid the legal troubles involved with a court ordering the appointment of a conservator or guardian for you, a trust also allows you to pre-select a conservator or guardian to serve as caretaker of your minor children, in the event you predecease them, or are otherwise incapacitated. A trust will also guarantee that you have a say in directing the flow of your assets to your family and loved ones, and you can work with your trustee during your life so that they understand what your wishes are.
- Securing your privacy: An oft-overlooked but highly appealing characteristic of trusts is that their contents never need to be disclosed to the public, and are administered wholly outside the courtroom. This is contrary to the probate process, which is, by its nature, open to the public record. If you have concerns about securing the privacy of your estate, and making sure that your plan remains shielded from the public eye, a revocable trust can provide that sort of confidentiality.
- Estate tax savings/avoidance: While many Minnesotans will never have to worry about the estate tax because they simply have too few assets, a revocable trust can ensure that some or all of your estate can avoid taxation upon your death. In addition, particularly with trusts set up for the benefit of multiple generations, we can ensure that your trust minimizes any potential tax liability to your descendants as well as against your own estate.
- Safeguarding against asset dissipation: If you want to pass on your wealth to your loved ones, but have concerns about one or more of them spending money, or otherwise disposing of gifts in an irresponsible way, a trust can help set up guidelines for how money is to be distributed, and we can include so-called “spendthrift provisions” to shield your estate from wasting the assets you pass to them.
- Providing flexible estate management: Your trustee has an ongoing duty to manage your estate according to your instructions. You are typically free to act as trustee of your trust during your life, or you may appoint someone to serve on your behalf. Your trust can contain as detailed instructions as you would like, and you can replace your trustee if they are not following your wishes during your lifetime. You are also free to add or remove assets from the trust, or to modify who your beneficiaries consist of, ensuring that your most recent wishes are reflected in the instrument.
- Providing peace of mind: More than any other advantage a revocable trust brings, you can be sure that your trust effectively provides your trustee with a set of guidelines to best reflect your wishes, and that, to the furthest extent possible, your estate will be managed according to your vision.
When you hire the Lang Law Office, we will work with you to determine the best course of action for you to achieve your goals. Our office is located in the heart of Chanhassen, but we represent clients throughout the Twin Cities metro area and greater Minnesota. We will help you understand pros and cons associated with revocable trusts and make sure that it is the right option for you before we proceed.
Contact our office today to discuss your revocable trust questions. We will provide a complete evaluation of your case and help you understand your legal options. You can reach us by phone at 952-470-6361 or via e-mail.