Ask Terry Questions Estate Planning — Where is RLT “registered”?

Estate Planning — Where is RLT “registered”?

By Terry Savage on September 05, 2018 |

I red your article in tribune. Good and informative, thanks for writing it. My questions:
1. Once we prepare a Living Trust or a Will with the help of an Attorney do we have to register it with the Court or the County offices. I am trying to understand how would the document be considered authentic if not registered with any authority.
2. I had a living trust done many years ago by an attorney, do we have to use an attorney to update that or is it ok do it without an attorney.

Terry Says

I’ll answer in reverse: YES, you must get a qualified estate planning attorney in your state of residence to update or create a Revocable Living trust.

That document will be signed and notarized by witnesses. Leave a copy with the attorney, and let you adult children (successor trustees) know where the document is located in case of your untimely death (or joint death). You don’t have to show it to them! It doesn’t have to be filed with a court now — or even at your death. The assets in the trust will be automatically available to the person you have named as your successor trustee — to distribute or maintain ownership for the benefit of people you have named (just as with a will -=- but it never goes before a court).

But the Revocable Living Trust will do absolutely no good unless you remember to transfer title to your major assets to the name of the trust –your house, your vacation house, your savings accounts and investment accounts, etc.

Some assets do not have to be named in the Trust because they have their own named beneficiaries and pass directly to those beneficiaries of IRAs, 40l(k)s and insurance policies. Those named beneficiaries of retirement accounts may be able to stretch tax-deferred growth of those assets over their lifetimes, so better name individuals and not your trust as beneficiaries Your attorney will explain.

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