Ask Terry Questions Revocable living trust vs. will

Revocable living trust vs. will

By Terry Savage on September 15, 2018 | Financial Planning / Retirement

We currently have a will. Do you advise us to change it to a revocable living trust and if so, is this something we can do ourselves? Our situation is pretty simple. We have three adult children who we would like everything split evenly between.

Terry Says

How old is your will? How is your home titled? Are you aware that your will must go through probate — the court process of changing title to and distributing your assets? And that it could take 6-9 months even for a simple will? And that there will be legal fees for a lawyer to shepherd your will though this process? And that if your house is in joint name, then the surviving joint tenant gets the house — even though that person may be incapacitated?

BUT with a Revocable Living Trust, when you die (one or both of you) or when the survivor is incapacitated, the PERSON YOU NAMED AS SUCCESSOR TRUSTEE — automatically takes over and distributes your assets per your directions in the RLT. It’s VERY important that you re-title all major assets in the name of the RLT you create. But some assets like IRAs or life insurance policies should have individual beneficiaries.

Most important, you need a competent estate planning attorney in your state of residence to prepare these papers for you!

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