Law FAQ: Why would I want a revocable living trust?

Contrary to what you’ve probably heard, a will may not be the best plan for you and your family. That’s primarily because a will does not avoid probate when you die.  A will MUST be validated by the probate court before it can be enforced, and the probate process is part of the public record (thus potentially airing your family’s personal financial details), can be extremely costly, burdensome, potentially divisive to the family, and consume considerable time and energy at precisely the time you are trying to deal with the loss of your loved one.

Also, because a will can only go into effect after you die, it provides no protection if you become physically or mentally incapacitated.  So a court could easily take control of your assets before you die – a concern of many elderly people and their families.

Fortunately, there is a simple and proven alternative to a will – the revocable living trust.  It avoids probate and lets you keep control of your assets while you are living, even if you become incapacitated, and also after you die.

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4 Comments
  • […] Law FAQ: Why would I want a revocable living trust? […]

  • […] can reduce the hassle of the probate process, or even eliminate it altogether.  For example, click here to read my post from last week about using revocable living […]

  • Karen Olsen

    December 26, 2011 at 7:40 am

    I’m considering relocating to Tennessee from Illinois. My husband does not have a financial interest in my house in Illinois. He has not contributed to the down payment or any of the monthly payments. Our property is separate in this state. I’m concerned that, if I sell my Illinois house and buy a house in Tennessee, that he might be entitled to some – or half – the equity if I should predecease him. My Internet research has left me somewhat confused on this issue and I would appreciate clarification.

    • LarryBray

      December 28, 2011 at 11:11 am

      Karen:
      There are many factors to consider in your specific situation, i.e. how the property is titled, whether you have a will or a revocable living trust, who your named beneficiaries are. Therefore, I have responded to you privately in an email.

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