3 Misconceptions About Revocable Living Trusts
Maybe you’ve heard about revocable living trusts–if you have, you’re ahead of the curve. But do you have all the facts? There are many misconceptions and getting a clear understanding of how these trusts operate can help you plan responsibly for your future. Revocable living trusts can be beneficial for many people, as they allow you to effectively bypass probate, which can otherwise be a lengthy and frustrating process for your heirs, and can result in your final wishes not being honored. Today we are taking a look at some of the misconceptions that surround revocable living trusts. This article is not intended to be comprehensive, but rather to give you a sense of whether a revocable trust may be right for you. If you would like personalized advice based on your particular situation, contact the Law Offices of Larry E. Bray, P.A., to schedule a consultation.
- Revocable living trusts are only for “rich” people. The fact of the matter is that anyone with an estate over $150,000 qualifies for and can benefit from a revocable living trust.
- I’ll lose control of my assets. This is a common misconception that a small amount of additional information can clear up. When a person dies, in most cases, their property must go through probate, even if they have a valid will. The probate process involves determining that the will is valid, settling the debts and finances of the decedent, and then distributing them (in accordance with the terms of their valid will, if possible, and in accordance with the Florida rules of intestate succession if not). A revocable living trust allows the assets in it to avoid probate because when they are transferred into the trust (while the testator is alive) they become the assets of the trust as opposed to the assets of the testator. However, the testator maintains control of the trust throughout their lifetime, and stipulates how it will be managed and the assets in it handled upon their death. This actually allows the testator the maximum amount of control in managing their assets both during their life and after their death, by avoiding all possible interference.
- Probate doesn’t apply to me. It’s true that all assets that have been transferred into the ownership of your revocable living trust will avoid probate. However, often, people do not transfer all of their assets into the trust. Any assets not transferred into the trust will still be subject to Florida probate. There may be other means of avoiding probate for these individual assets. For instance, your spouse or a dependent can be added to bank accounts, retirement funds, and homes as a joint-owner with survivorship rights. This ensures that if the owner passes away, ownership immediately transfers to the joint-owner, allowing the asset to avoid probate. This also prevents long delays in accessing needed bank accounts and assets for the decedent’s family, ensuring those who need it will have instant and continuous access to the necessary funds, home, or assets as stipulated by the decedent.
Talk to a Florida Trusts and Estates Attorney
If you have questions about how to best protect your assets, ensure that your loved ones are provided for and that your wishes are honored, West Palm Beach estate planning attorney Larry E. Bray will help develop an estate plan custom-tailored to your needs. Larry E. Bray has over 30 years of experience serving the surrounding areas. Call the Law Offices of Larry E. Bray today and schedule a consultation.