Most of us worry about our current financial situations and paying off our debts. If we’re married, we also worry about the well being of our mate and with those with children, there is also concern about our children and the expenses related to their education and future. Also as part of our short-term outlook, some of us plan for our retirement to ensure that all of our hard work pays off when we are riding off in the sunset in our golden years.
But very few of us actually worry about what will become of our surviving spouse, children and other family members that we have spent so many years carrying for, once we die. For the few that think long-term and have had discussions about their family’s future upon their own passing, the thinking simply focuses on the creation of a Will to protect their loved ones’ future.
Very few people actually explore the option of the Living Trust, and specifically, the Revocable Living Trust. That is where our experienced Michigan attorneys at Downriver Lawyer come into play. Our team of attorneys provides information about the less common-thought-of option when it comes to discussions about distribution of your assets and protection of your family upon death.
So you are asking yourself, “What exactly is a Revocable Living Trust?” Well, a “trust” is an instrument that infers an equitable right or title in land or other property held for a beneficiary who will become its legal title-holder or owner. “Living” is just that. A trust that is created while the creator, or grantor, is still living. And finally, “revocable” means the ability to revoke or make changes. Putting it all together, a Revocable Living Trust becomes a legal instrument drawn up by a grantor, during his/her living years, that leaves title to land or property for a beneficiary which can be revoked or changed during the lifetime of the grantor. Easy enough, right?
Well, what happens, if the grantor is married? How does marital bliss come into play? Great question! If the grantor is married and opts to caveat his revocable living trust by choosing what is commonly known as a “Sweetheart Trust”, a Trust that allows the grantor’s surviving spouse/partner to retain the highest level of discretion and control over the trust so long as he/she lives. The Trust only then become final, once the surviving spouse has deceased.
So now you’re asking, what is the benefit of having a Revocable Trust? Why not just draft a Will. To the common eye, there is no difference. But sitting down with a knowledgeable lawyer, like our team of lawyers at Downriver Lawyer, we can point out the minor differences in your options that are not so minor after all, but rather quite major.
The biggest difference is that a Will becomes public record and requires probate proceedings, while a Living Trust is confidential and will not require probate proceedings for distribution of its property.
The importance? The public nature of a Will allows for your creditors to obtain information on the assets and inheritance you have bestowed on your surviving family members and this will easily allow them to request fulfillment of the debt that you have left behind through these such assets and inheritance. On the other hand, a Living Trust will become public only if a party, such as the trustee or the beneficiary, demands a court order of approval of the accounts or due to conflict. That is the only instance in which the contents of your Living Trust will undergo probate proceedings.
So what are the things you should be considering right now? The first thing you should be thinking, is talking with a lawyer about your options. We at Downriver Lawyer, have a few general suggestions for do’s and don’ts in thinking about your “Revocable Living Trust”. We have been serving the Downriver, Michigan area in advising and providing legal guidance on asset and inheritance protection and distribution. We know you spend a lifetime accruing your assets and want to ensure the protection of your family if and when you become unable to make such decisions on your own, or upon your passing.
Our knowledgeable attorneys at Downriver Lawyer have years of experience in probate law as well as estate planning and can determine what approach best suits the needs of each individual client. No two cases are similar. We understand each family dynamic is unique in its own, and each individual’s desires vary. While we all want to see our family well protected, we also want to ensure that the inheritance left to them will be distributed to our wishes and in such a way that the beneficiary’s future is solid.
While many individuals opt for the use of templates in the drafting of their Will or Living Trust, it is a mistake to make such decisions in a hasty manner and without complete comprehension of the consequences of your many options. For those individuals who wish to have the option to manage flexible control over their Living Trusts, let us sit down with you and provide you with insight on a Revocable Living Trust.
Together, we at Downriver Lawyer will help guide you and provide you with the tools you need in making this very important decision. To learn more about estate planning and other asset control options, visit our blog at: http://downriverlawyer.com/?s=trust . You can contact us directly at 734.619.1237 to set an appointment for a consultation, or you can email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. We are here to help and to provide you with a peace of mind in setting your long-term goals.