Written by: Premier Trust
A revocable trust can be an extremely powerful and flexible estate-planning tool. One of the questions we get asked from advisors all across the country is, “does my client really need a revocable trust?” Some people believe that revocable trusts are oversold, while others believe they’re underutilized.
We have come up with 7 reasons why your client might want or need a revocable trust.
- To Provide an Orderly Distribution of Their Assets to Their Heirs – We like to say for “For Whom Am I Responsible?” At the end of the day we all want to take care of the ones we love, to provide for our heirs well-being, and to protect our hard earned assets from our heir’s potential predators and creditors. In this day and age with complex family dynamics, distributing your assets in the most orderly and efficient way is one of the main reasons your clients should want a trust. *Remember a revocable trust does not provide creditor protection while the grantor is alive. It is not until the grantor passes does the trust become irrevocable and provide creditor protection to the beneficiaries of the trust.
- To Avoid Probate– Probate in Latin means proving of the will. Probate is time consuming and expensive. In order transfer your assets to your heirs using a will, you have to go through the court system. We get calls all the time that John Doe is at the bank showing his moms will and he wants his money. This is not how the will works. The will has to go through the court system to prove that it is the most current and valid will, then make sure all the creditors are paid, then make sure all the final tax returns are filed. After this is done the executor of the will/fiduciary will distribute the remaining assets to the beneficiaries as the will provides.
- Privacy Concerns – We have all seen the famous celebrity who passes away and the contents of their will end up on the internet for a topic of discussion. This is because a will is public record and is filed with the court after death. A revocable trust on the other hand is a business contract and is a private document. Many of your clients might want to keep their estate plan private for many different reasons. If this is the case a revocable trust is the answer.
- Real Estate in More than One State – A lot of people forget that if they have real estate in more than one state that each piece of property has to be probated in the state where it is located. This can lead to more attorney fees, court related fees, and can be very time consuming. Your clients benefit using a revocable trust by changing the deeds so the trust is the owner; therefore, avoiding probate.
- Second Marriages– sometimes in second marriages the surviving spouse has the ability to disinherit their stepchildren. If your client has a trust in place the trust can provide benefits to the surviving spouse for their lifetime and after his or her death leave the remainder of the assets to each spouse’s estate, outside of the probate process.
- Incapacity Planning– If the grantor of a trust becomes incapacitated the successor trustee has complete access to the assets. If you have a will and become incapacitated the court will provide a guardianship, which is public and costly.
- Special Needs– special needs planning is unfortunately becoming more common in estate planning. If one of your client’s children is receiving government benefits, such as disability, and then receive an inheritance, a result could be a denial of their government benefits. A special needs trusts can provide the child with their supplemental needs from their inheritance all while still allowing them to receive their government benefits.
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