involves the arrangement of a personís legal and financial affairs for
the orderly management and disposition of property at the time of
disability or death.
of an estate plan include:
proper administration and disposition of assets at the proper time
-Avoid unnecessary probate, minimize expense, inconvenience and
-Minimize federal estate tax and state inheritance and estate tax;
-Provide for specific or charitable gifts.
-Revocable Living Trust;
-Last Will and Testament (Pourover);
-Durable Power of Attorney;
-Designation of Patient Advocate;
-Transfer documents, including deeds, assignments, beneficiary
is a Revocable Living Trust?
Trust is a contract that effectively transfers title to assets of the
-It is created by the Settlor (Grantor) during a lifetime;
-It is funded with Settlorís property and held by a Trustee who
can be the Settlor (Self-Trusteed);
-Settlor can revoke the Trust and withdraw assets;
-Upon Settlorís death, the Trust provides for the Settlorís
heirs and beneficiaries (substitutes for Will);
-Settlor is the sole lifetime beneficiary of the Trust;
-A Successor Trustee administers the Trust according to its terms
upon the death or disability of the Settlor;
of a Revocable Living Trust:
-Avoids probate delay and expenses;
-Avoids interruption of income and investment on disability or
-May be the recipient of estate assets, insurance proceeds and
death benefits from retirement plans;
-Enables business to continue operations;
-May relieve Settlor of investment burdens;
-Less vulnerable to attack based on incapacity, fraud or duress;
-Less formal accounting and judicial supervision than Trust under
-May provide for charitable gifts in jurisdictions which limit
charitable gifts by Will.
-Requires transfer of assets, operating bank account;
-Operates Trust as a legal entity;
-Cost to prepare Trust and transfer assets probably greater than
cost of a Will;
-Probate estate may allow some postmortem tax planning since there
is another taxpayer.
can use a Revocable Living Trust?
Individualís circumstances will vary and depending on the facts, it is
difficult to generalize. However,
if any of the following apply, a person should consider establishing a
Revocable Living Trust:
-A desire to avoid probate and eliminate the risk of joint
-Married individuals with estates over $1,000,000;
-A desire to extend the time when a beneficiary receives an
-A desire to choose who will manage your legal and financial
affairs on disability or death;
-A desire to provide an individual with life income, remainder to
A desire to protect minor children;
-Use of a standby Trust to be used upon disability even if no
assets are immediately transferred.
For additional information and estate planning opportunities which will
benefit you and your heirs, please contact our firm to arrange an
appointment to discuss your individual needs.
This does not attempt to give specific legal or tax advice. Competent legal, tax or investment advisors should be consulted for your particular situation.