Newman Law Group

Revocable trusts: Another way to transfer assets

When people think of passing on and leaving their legacy behind to their heirs, they usually think of wills. But a trust is another way for individuals to transfer assets. Revocable trusts allow the maker to change the terms of the trust as well. A trust, properly established, allows a person a few extra advantages over using a will. Recently, one author shared some of those advantages in a news article that individuals in California may find interesting. 

The main advantage of using a trust versus a will is the opportunity to avoid probate. With a trust, the heirs do not have to wait to undergo the lengthy and sometimes costly process of probate. The successor trustees are able to use the funds in the trust immediately without going through the court procedures. 

Other advantages include the ability to reduce expenses, added privacy and faster disbursal of funds. Since a trust avoids probate, there are no probate fees attached. Unlike wills, trusts do not become part of the court record, and so they remain private and out of the reach of the public. A trust does not have to process through the courts and financial decisions do not need to be approved by a judge. As long as the disbursal of funds is in line with the terms of the trust, beneficiaries can access funds immediately. 

A trust can be a good tool to control assets if a beneficiary has special needs or is considered a spendthrift. The flexibility and independence that a trust provides will be appealing to those planning their estates. A trust can help a person transfer assets in an efficient and effective manner. In California, an estate planning attorney can be a valuable resource when choosing to create a revocable trust. 

Source: tcpalm.com, "Advantages of a revocable living trust," Robert D. Schwartz, Aug. 3, 2017

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