When a Will Isn’t Enough: Understanding the Benefits of a Revocable Living Trust

A will, or last will and testament, is an excellent first step in most estate plans. Wills can effectively identify what assets you have, and what you would like to happen to them when you’re gone. For many people, there comes a point when their estate is too large or complex to be properly dealt with by a simple will. When this occurs, a revocable living trust is oftentimes the perfect solution.

Revocable trusts are legal instruments that allow you to place assets to be held in the trust—a move which generally provides some very significant benefits. As long as you are living, you can make changes to this type of trust, or even close it out if you choose. Learning about some of the benefits of a revocable living trust will show why it is such an important part of many estate plans.

Avoiding Probate

If you die with just a will, nearly all of your assets will need to go through probate before they can be passed on to your heirs. Probate can be very time consuming and costly, especially if you have a substantial estate. A revocable trust, however, does not need to go through this process. This is because it is a private contract that is setup to execute upon your death. When this occurs, the assets within the trust can be settled by the successor trustee.  Probate avoidance, and the cost benefits associated with avoiding probate, is by far the biggest benefit to setting up a revocable living trust.

Can Plan for Physical or Mental Incapacity

One of the biggest worries of many people is that they will become physically or mentally incapacitated, and unable to make their own decisions. While this is certainly a frightening thought, you can find some comfort when using a revocable trust. If desired, the trust can include a provision that allows a loved one or other trusted individual to step in as a successor trustee to administer and manage the trust. The alternative in many cases would be for your loved ones to seek a conservatorship, which can be a complex and costly process.

Privacy is Maintained

When a will goes through the probate process it becomes part of the public record, which means anyone can look at it. Your heirs may not want people knowing how much they inherited. A revocable trust, on the other hand, is a private document that does not become a matter of public record. You can pass all your assets on to those you choose, without anyone other than your heirs and the executor knowing what each person is getting.

Creating a Revocable Living Trust

If you think that a revocable living trust might be a good part of your overall estate planning, please make sure to contact Lake Cook Legal Solutions, LLC. [Link to CONTACT US page] We will be more than happy to go over your current circumstances, discuss your goals, and help you to set up a revocable trust that will meet all your needs.

Written by Lake Cook Legal Solutions, LLC

Lake Cook Legal Solutions, LLC

Lake Cook Legal Solutions has been helping people throughout Lake, Cook, McHenry, and DuPage counties since 2012. We focus our practice on matters involving Illinois families—namely Family Law and Estate Planning.