A revocable living trust is an estate planning device that has enjoyed popularity. It can be utilized by individuals or married couples.
The trust will have a trustee in charge of all property in the trust, although the trustee can also be the person who created the trust. The trust will also name those who ultimately will receive both the property in the trust and the income. These are the beneficiaries of the trust.
The trust agreement should set out in detail all the rights and responsibilities regarding how the property in the trust gets managed.
A key feature of revocable living trusts is that the person who created it can revoke it at any time so long as they have mental capacity to do so.
Typically, people write revocable trusts so that they can continue even after their deaths or in the event they are no longer capable of handling their finances.
As is the case with other living trusts, after creating the revocable living trust, people must transfer property into the trust. If they do not, then the trust does not apply to that property.
Why would I consider setting up a revocable living trust?
Each Virginia family’s situation is different when it comes to estate planning. Revocable living trusts are not the best option for everyone, and they do cost more money up front than would a more basic estate plan.
However, there are several advantages a family in the Richmond area may consider:
- A big advantage is that, with a trust, a person’s property can pass to the next generation without a lengthy and costly probate process. As a word of warning, though, this does not mean that disgruntled family members or others are not able to initiate estate litigation.
- That said, sometimes a detailed trust is the best way for people to communicate their wishes and avoid intra-family fighting.
- Since trust property does not go through probate, Virginians can keep their finances private.
- Some families might find that a revocable living trust offers some additional flexibility and brings some organization to their assets.
- When properly drafted, a trust can ensure that the property in it is getting consistently managed and monitored.