There are multiple tools people can use to plan for what happens to their assets when they die. Unfortunately, many fail to take the time to create and execute a thoughtful and intentional estate plan. When they pass away, their families are left with the job of dealing with an estate and the probate court.
When formulating your estate plan, a revocable living trust is one way you can ease the transfer of your assets to chosen beneficiaries upon your death. What you have can go where you want it to go when you no longer need it.
I know that estate planning can be overwhelming to most people, which is exactly why my law practice, Sharline S. Green, P.C., is dedicated to giving my clients the information they need to make decisions about their legacies. Being able to make informed decisions alleviates that sense of confusion and will put you and your loved ones at ease.
If you live in Conyers, Georgia, or in Covington, Snellville, Lawrenceville, Greensboro, Atlanta, Oxford, Loganville, or Grayson, call me to schedule a time when we can explore your estate planning options, or click on the link below.
You can transfer your personal assets to a trust where it’s managed by a trustee for the benefit of those individuals and organizations you name to receive those assets. The trust provides instructions regarding the distribution of its assets upon your death. There are living trusts (those that are in effect during your lifetime) and testamentary trusts (those that go into effect upon your death).
Trusts avoid the time and expenses of probate. Only those assets not transferred to the trust at the time of your death are subject to probate. So, the assets in the trust can be quickly and smoothly transferred to your beneficiaries without court oversight.
Living trusts are either revocable or irrevocable. As their titles suggest, a revocable trust can be changed by the trust creator at any time. Once an irrevocable trust is executed, you cannot reclaim any assets transferred to the trust. You also cannot eliminate a beneficiary of the trust unless every beneficiary agrees to the removal, including the one you want to remove.
You transfer your personal assets to a trust, and it becomes property of the trust instead of yours. That means a creditor cannot make a claim against any asset in the trust when you die because it was not your personal property at the time of your death. That preserves those assets for your beneficiaries.
Because there is no changing an irrevocable trust, the trust creator garners greater tax benefits. Your Social Security number is the tax identification number of a revocable trust. An irrevocable trust is assigned its own tax identification number, and the trust pays its own taxes.
A revocable living trust offers the advantage of making changes to it throughout your lifetime. If at any point you decide that your personal ownership of an asset is a benefit to you, you can transfer it out of the trust. Likewise, if you decide you want to change who benefits from the trust when you are gone, you are free to make those changes without the need for consent from anyone else.
You should meet with an estate planning attorney to explore and discuss a comprehensive estate plan, which may include the creation of a revocable living trust. Creating an estate plan that suits your unique needs and goals requires a complete inventory of your assets, discussing your wishes for your legacy, and executing a plan as unique as you are.
Your estate planning attorney should not only have a profound knowledge of the law and the tools at your disposal, but also a commitment to taking the time and effort to educate you about those tools so you can make the best decisions for yourself. Estate planning, at its core, is all about you making decisions, not the court.
I provide guidance to my estate planning clients in Conyers, Covington, Snellville, Lawrenceville, Greensboro, Atlanta, Oxford, Loganville, and Grayson, Georgia. I encourage them to begin their plan young and revise it as things change in their lives, such as marriage, children, divorce, jobs, asset acquisition, goals, and dreams. At Sharline S. Green, P.C., you can count on me to guide you through your estate plan no matter how your life changes. Let’s begin working on your revocable living trust or other estate planning documents. Call my office today.