Wills and Living Wills Article


Revocable Living Trust

A trust is a contract between yourself as the Trustmaker/Grantor/Settlor/Trustor and yourself (typically) as Trustee (the person that manages the trust). You can change or revoke the trust at any time that you have capacity.


You can specify who determines your disability. You can set out the terms of the trust to handle distribution while you are alive and well, alive and disabled, and not alive. The trust handles both disability and providing for your beneficiaries. You can set the terms for how and when your beneficiaries receive assets from the trust. If the beneficiary has disabilities, a special needs trust may be appropriate.


You may want assets held in trust for a minor beneficiary. If a beneficiary is going through bankruptcy or has creditor issues, you may want to draft the trust so that the beneficiary cannot demand the money from the Trustee. Sometimes trusts are set up to provide protection in event of divorce (if the beneficiary receives the money outright and then commingles it with spouse, it can be hard to trace what is left, if anything, if the inheritance and amounts not traceable are included in what is divided in the divorce).


Consult an estate planning attorney to review your goals/wishes and the various options in this area.


Make sure you properly fund your trust after signing it and review all beneficiary designations to make sure they meet your wishes. It will be frustrating for your Trustee to not only have to do the trust administration but also the probate because you “forgot” to change title on an asset into your trust.


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