What is a revocable trust? It is important to be able to answer this question in order to determine if a revocable trust should be a part of your comprehensive estate plan. A revocable trust can do many important things, but there are also some pretty big limitations regarding exactly what this kind of trust will accomplish for you.
The Law Offices of James A. Miller can provide you with comprehensive help in determining if you should create a revocable trust. We also help you with understanding the benefits that are associated with creating this type of trust.
If a trust is right for you, we know the Massachusetts rules for trust creation and will help you to make a legally valid trust that provides the full measure of benefits that a revocable trust should offer. To get answers to the question, what is a revocable trust?, give us a call today to speak with a member of our legal team.
What is a Revocable Trust?
A revocable trust is also called a living trust. It is created during your lifetime through the use of a trust document that follows Massachusetts state law. The trust will break up, or bifurcate, ownership of assets held within the trust and the possession of those same assets. The trust is going to be the owner of the assets, but you or those who you designate as beneficiaries are the ones who are going to use and benefit from the assets.
When you create a revocable trust, you will typically name yourself as the primary trustee. The job of the trustee is to manage and oversee trust assets. Generally, you also name a backup trustee as well.
The original trust document must also identify who the trust beneficiaries are. These beneficiaries are the people who are going to benefit from the trust, such as those who will inherit trust assets. You can name virtually anyone you want to select as a trust beneficiary.
Once you have the trust created, the next step is to fund it. This means making transfers of appropriate assets into the living trust so that there is property of value within the trust. The trustee makes important decisions and manages this property within the trust. Since usually the trust creator is the primary trustee, this means the primary trustee will retain a lot of control over trust assets.
Ultimately, when the trust creator (and primary trustee) becomes incapacitated or passes away, the backup trustee will take control. This can mean managing money and property in the event of the incapacity of the trust creator. If the trust creator has passed away, then the trustee’s job becomes trust administration and the trustee facilitates the appropriate and timely transfer of trust assets to new owners.
Should You Create a Revocable Trust?
Revocable trusts are flexible, and are a top choice by many who create trusts because they do not want to be locked in forever to a trust. Irrevocable trusts, on the other hand, are permanent. Once you have created an irrevocable trust, you cannot undo it without going to court and the court will generally only grant the modification or termination if there is widespread agreement among involved parties, including trust beneficiaries.
Not only can revocable trusts allow you to make changes, but you can also continue to have substantial control over your own assets held within the trust. In contrast, with many types of irrevocable trusts, you have to give up control. While giving up control can sound like a bad thing, it is important to realize your continued control over assets within a revocable trust means that those trust assets will still count as yours for purposes of qualifying for means-tested benefits like Medicaid.
Getting Help from A Revocable Trust Lawyer
The Law Offices of James A. Miller will discuss your goals for estate plan and for securing your future and the future of your loved ones. We can help you to determine if a revocable trust is likely to be able to accomplish your goals for estate planning and financial security. If a revocable trust is the right type of trust for your needs, we will guide you through creating a trust. If a revocable trust is not the best choice, we can help you to explore other alternatives including the creation of irrevocable trust.
The services our legal team provides go far beyond just answering the question of what is a revocable trust. Our experienced attorneys are there every step of the way in making use of Massachusetts legal tools to protect your assets, security, and family. Download a free estate planning worksheet or give us a call at 866-370-3888 or contact us online to speak with a member of our legal team to find out more.
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