Revocable trusts and their importance in estate planning

Revocable trusts and their importance in estate planning
Mick Grant
Mick Grant

Founder and Writer

An individual is always on the lookout for options to manage their assets effectively. Whether it involves avoiding unnecessary taxation or passing down assets to their children. Trust in Estate Planning acts as a legal vehicle created to hold assets directly in a trust fund on behalf of the beneficiary. A trust is complete ownership of money or property, which is meant to benefit another. A trustee is a person to which the title of the property belongs. A beneficiary is who receives the benefit of it. While there are different types of trust, the basic ones are revocable and irrevocable. 

The need for Revocable  Trust

A revocable trust is a trust which the creator or originator can entirely modify, alter or change. During the lifespan of the trust, the income received gets distributed to the originator. The property transfers to the beneficiaries only after the creator’s death. 

Some attorneys believe that all clients should obtain revocable trusts. In truth, one should acquire these trusts on a case to case basis. If one poses a few bank accounts and a simple retirement plan, then the revocable trusts can be a little excessive. In case of large business, revocable trusts can prove to be more potent than Wills or testaments as the trustees will run the business in the absence of the originator. Revocable trusts also come in handy if one wants to add more minor beneficiaries. If one has privacy concerns, then revocable trusts are a good option. It is a private document that never becomes public, unlike a Will or testament.

Revocable trusts and Estate planning

Estate planning is planning for the future; it is also one of the most responsible things one can do. Even though the process can be a little unsettling at first, in the long run, it can prove effective. An Estate Plan can include various types of trusts which can have a notable impact on one’s legacy. The Revocable Trust is a fragment of Estate Planning which manages and protects the assets of the donor. The donor can amend or revoke the trust as desired. When adequately prepared, a Revocable Trust and Estate Plan will honour one’s wishes and streamline the process of managing/transferring one’s assets in case of any incapacitation. It avoids or reduces Estate Taxes and protects the privacy of one’s estate plan. 

As the revocable trust lists one or more beneficiaries, it does not go through probate, which is the statute process of distributing assets of a Will. Thus it saves a lot of time, money and stress.

Revocable Vs Irrevocable in Estate Planning 

All trusts are Irrevocable or Revocable. A Revocable Trust can be modified if one has second thoughts about any of the provisions in the trust’s terms. Such as, if one wants to change their mind about any one of the beneficiaries. One very well can abandon or undo the entire trust if they consider that it just does not serve their purposes any longer. A Revocable trust can defend the privacy of assets and beneficiaries after death as well. Because it avoids probate, the trust agreement remains confidential. One’s assets and whom they have decided to leave it for will remain a private family matter. 

On the other hand,  amending an irrevocable trust after its  formation and funding is not possible . The property placed in an Irrevocable trust cannot be returned; neither can one act as trustee and manage the assets. A Revocable trust becomes irrevocable when the donor dies because the donor is no longer available to make amendments to it. However, at the time of the donor’s demise, a revocable trusts structure is easy to divide into separate irrevocable trusts to benefit the kids or other beneficiaries.

To summarize

Many dread the tough decisions that come while drafting an Estate plan, but doing so also makes things a lot easier for those one loves. Getting a revocable trust in an estate plan will ensure that one’s affairs are in order and that their wishes will be honoured.The main benefit of creating it is that it acts as a mechanism which manages and preserves the assets in one’s absence.  A revocable trust is an entity that let’s one own something for the benefit of others.Whether one requires a Revocable trust or not purely depends on their needs. There are numerous advantages of a Revocable trust but creating one can be a complicated process. Therefore,while considering a trust, seeking professional advice can help one make the right decisions. 

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