Posted on: 9 August 2017
Many people say they want to create an estate plan that avoids probate, but usually, it is not possible to avoid that legal step entirely. You can, however, with careful planning, create an estate plan that keeps as much of your estate out of probate as possible. Revocable trusts are very similar to wills in the way they work but are far superior in some aspects. Read to learn about the similarities and differences between wills and trusts.
Similarities to a will: In general, a revocable trust operates just like will in these two respects:
1. An administrator of the trust is named, and this person fills a position that is just like that of an executor (or personal administrator). The trustee takes on a silent role while the trust owner is living and only comes into the position at the owner's death. They are charged with ensuring that the trust provisions are followed according to the wishes of the owner.
2. Beneficiaries are identified within the trust and they fill a role similar to that of a will beneficiary. The trust can specify that certain people receive certain items of property. Anything type of property you can imagine, from homes to cars to bank accounts and pets, can be addressed using a revocable trust.
Different (and better) than a will: You will find that trusts are superior to a will in these two respects:
1. Trusts do not need to be probated. Since the probate process can take several months to be complete, not having to file your trust and wait means that the beneficiaries can begin to take possession of any property as soon as they get access to the death certificate (which is often within a few weeks after the death).
2. Trusts are private. While a will must be filed in probate court and made public, a trust need never be made public. If need be, only the owner, the trustee and the estate or probate attorney need know the full contents of the trust. This means that the beneficiaries may not necessarily know what the other beneficiaries are receiving, and this facet of a trust could help ensure a smoother estate settlement. The privacy of the trust can also serve as an extra layer of comfort to the grieving family.
To learn more about the benefits of a revocable trust over a will, speak to an estate planning attorney as soon as possible.Share