What is a Revocable Trust?
A Revocable Trust, often referred to as a “Living Trust,” is a cost-effective, savvy estate-planning tool used by millions of every-day Americans to avoid the time, frustration and costs of probate, while preserving family privacy and preparing your estate for easy and fast transition to your loved ones after you die.
A living trust allows you total control, avoids probate and keeps family business private! Revocable trust lawyer, Michael J. Hurley, serves residents throughout Massachusetts including Boston, North Andover, Lawrence, North Shore, Salem, Concord, Merrimack Valley, Essex and Middlesex counties and beyond. Michael offers a free phone consultation by calling (617) 712-2000
A Revocable Trust is a legal document that authorizes a trustee (usually yourself – the creator of the trust) to manage assets. You are legally called the “grantor” and you retain the ability to revise the trust and use all the assets held in the trust (just like nothing changed) up until your death. When you die your pre-selected successor-trustee (often your spouse, sibling, child, or trusted person) replaces you as the new trustee to oversee your wishes, and to distribute your assets as you clearly specify and document in the details of your Revocable Trust. Because nothing changes while you are alive, a Revocable Trust is called a ‘Living Trust.’
When you get your Revocable Trust, your life doesn’t change. The title to your home, for example, will legally change from your personal name — or you and your spouse’s names — to the name of the trust, but ALL your assets are still your assets! Since you create the trust (as ‘grantor’) the trust and everything in it is yours. You could wake up one day and decide to dissolve the trust as if it never happened. Though no one would have any cause to do that. In other words, there is NO risk of you losing control of your assets while you live. When you die, the trust distributes the trust’s assets to those you selected before passing WITHOUT the state of Massachusetts getting involved in your private family business nor cost of probate and delay of up to 18-months in a Massachusetts Probate Court.
Unlike in a will, assets in a living trust will almost always pass far faster to your heirs and beneficiaries.
A “Revocable Trust” is synonymous with “Living Trust”
A Revocable Trust is a popular and powerful estate-planning tool for protecting and managing one’s assets during their lifetime and provides a smooth method of distributing assets to beneficiaries in the event of disability or death. Moreover, a Revocable Trust avoids the public airing of one’s family affairs, finances, and assets, in an expensive and lengthy Probate process that can itself, cause family disputes about who gets what and when! A Revocable Trust is often prepared, and the details shared with your heirs prior to your death and all beneficiaries know ahead of time what your desires were for the distribution of your assets, making it unlikely for family disputes later. A Will alone does not prevent your estate to be held up in a Probate process.
A Revocable Trust —as the name suggests, is revocable or amendable during the grantor’s lifetime. The parties that are involved in a Revocable Trust are:
- The “Grantor,” or the individual(s) that creates the trust. (also known as “Trustor” or “Settlor”)
- The “Trustee.” or the individual(s) or corporation(s) that manage the trust assets in accordance with the provisions set forth in the trust agreement for the benefit of the beneficiary(s) of the trust.
- The “Beneficiary(s),” or the individual(s) or charity(s) that the Grantor intends the trust to “benefit” by the eventual distribution of the Trust’s assets
A Revocable Trust is Powerful Estate Planning Choice
A Revocable Trust is a powerful estate planning instrument. That is why, for the past 30+ years, everyone who investigates protecting themselves and their family will often choose a Living Trust. A Living ‘Revocable’ Trust is popular for people from all walks of life. There is no risk and little, if any downside to a Living Trust if set up properly by an experienced estate planning lawyer. In most instances, the Grantor names himself or herself the initial Trustee, and the initial Beneficiary of their Revocable Trust. In other words, the person who sets up a Living Trust (Grantor) assumes the “offices” of both Trustee and Beneficiary! You are in total control of your life and assets – just as you were before – but now, should you die, your loved ones will avoid probate and your assets are quickly and smoothly transferred to your heirs and beneficiaries.
Upshot? A local Massachusetts individual who asks me to set up his or her Revocable Trust often chooses to NAME THEMSELF as the Grantor, Trustee AND initial Beneficiary. That way, they maintain FULL CONTROL of their revocable trust until incapacity or death. Daily life, as you know it, does not change. The legal title to your home, vacation home, cars, RV, jewelry collection, and checking account will look different, but while you are alive you remain the King or Queen of your Castle. No one will tell you what to do, or how to do it. In the simplest of terms, the “Title of Ownership” of your “stuff” is incorporated into a trust, but is essence, you ARE the Trust. Below is the only daily reminder that you did what everyone else does when they create a Living Trust:
“Jeff and Joan Rhodes”
“The Jeff and Joan Rhodes Living Trust”
You know what makes my day? Sometimes a Living Trust client will call me to draft a quick amendment to their Revocable Trust following the blessing of a new grandchild or other significant change. It is a joy to hear them tell me that when they write a check that has “The ______ Living Trust” printed on it, what a good feeling they have; and the peace of mind that washes over them that their spouse and children are once-and-for-all “taken care of.”
Revocable Trust Lawyer in Massachusetts
When exploring estate-planning options, there are important decisions you need to make. Michael J. Hurley can review with you in detail what a Revocable Trust is and how it compares to other estate-planning tools. Michael can help you determine what are your best options in planning for your family’s future.
Set Up a Day, Evening or Weekend Appointment Now
Michael J. Hurleyat (617) 712-2000.
The initial phone consultation is free to answer your questions and make introductions. If you want to move forward, we offer a reduced fee initial sit-down strategy meeting where I will personally review your unique circumstances in our Boston or North Andover office, your home, your business, a hospital room or even at your corner Starbucks.
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