Revocable Living Trusts Attorneys Assisting Clients in Conway, Arkansas and Surrounding Areas
There are several different estate planning tools that can simplify your estate and save you and your loved one’s time and money, and a revocable living trust is one of them. A living trust is not a lot different than a will in the way it ultimately functions, which is to pass your assets to your beneficiaries when you die. The revocable living trust has some advantages over a will, however, and can make the process of transferring an inheritance easier, faster, and more private.
The skilled Conway estate planning attorneys at the Dudeck Law Firm have the education and experience to help you determine whether a revocable living trust would be a good thing to add to your estate plan. Call us today at 501-327-3527 to explore your options.
What is a Revocable Living Trust?
A revocable living trust is a fiduciary agreement that functions as a kind of holder for assets that you want to pass on to your children or other beneficiaries. It is called a revocable living trust because it can be changed or revoked at any time, and it is created while you are living. Not all trusts are changeable or revocable, unlike this one, and some are not created until you die. In a living trust, you will typically name yourself as trustee, which means that you still have full control over and access to any assets that are held in the trust. You will also most likely be the beneficiary of the trust until you pass away. You will name a successor trustee to take over should you become incapacitated or die. If you are incapacitated, you remain as the beneficiary of the trust, typically, but the successor trustee will take over the management of the assets and use them for your benefit. Upon your death, the successor trustee will make sure that the assets within the trust go to the beneficiaries that you named.
What Are Some of the Benefits of a Revocable Living Trust?
Here are some of the possible benefits a revocable living trust can provide:
- Avoiding probate: Probate is court supervision of the distribution of your assets after you pass away. Probate can be a lengthy and expensive process and can significantly delay the inheritance that your beneficiaries are entitled to.
- Maintaining Privacy: Probate is a public process that is recorded in public documents. By avoiding probate, a revocable living trust can keep your financial details private and unavailable to anyone searching public records.
- Assisting in Times of Incapacity: If you were to become incapacitated through injury or illness and were unable to manage your financial affairs, a revocable living trust would allow your named successor trustee to take over and manage your financial obligations without the intervention or oversight of a court. Otherwise, a court will appoint a conservator, and you will have no say in who that person is.
- Saving Money, Stress, and Time: The probate process can be complicated and expensive, especially if the will is contested in any way. Trusts are contested far less often than wills and typically hold up better in court.
Unfortunately, a revocable living trust does not typically offer any significant tax savings; however, there is no federal estate tax unless your estate reaches a value close to $12 million, and Arkansas does not have an estate tax at all. For those who do have estates valued at $12 million or more, there are other kinds of trusts that might serve you better. Even if a revocable living trust will not save you on taxes, the other benefits can still make it an attractive option for your estate plan.
Do I Still Need a Will?
Even if you have all of your assets in a revocable living trust, it is still a good idea to have a will to do the few things that a trust can’t do. One of these is to name a guardian for your minor children, should both parents become unable to care for them for any reason. Nobody likes to think that their children might have to be raised by someone else, but if the unthinkable happens, you want to know that your children will go to someone you know and trust to give them good care and to raise them as you would like them to be raised.
The other reason to have a will in addition to your trust (called a “pour-over” will) is to catch any assets that you may have neglected to place in the trust. This could be because you simply forgot, or because you purchased or inherited property after setting up the trust and either didn’t know you needed to take ownership as the trust and not as yourself, or you did not know how to do so. Without a will, any property left out of the trust would go through the intestacy process in which the probate court would distribute the asset(s) to designated beneficiaries, as opposed to beneficiaries you chose.
Why Should I Hire an an Arkansas Revocable Living Trusts Attorney?
Any legal and financial document, such as a revocable living trust, must be done properly. Otherwise, it might not stand up in court, and all of your advance planning will be for nothing. Here at the Dudeck Law Firm, our main focus is on estate planning and elder law. We understand all of the ins and outs of revocable living trusts and can help you determine if setting one up would be a good move in your particular situation. If so, we can help you create a legal document that will stand up in court and advise your survivors of your wishes regarding the assets in the trust. Call us today at 501-327-3527 to get started.