10 Reasons to Have a Revocable Living Trust

  1. Avoiding probate: Instead of paying thousands of dollars in probate costs, fees, and attorney charges,your estate will be distributed to your heirs upon your death. It saves money.
  2. Managing assets: Your trust document contains your instructions for managing your assets, and the use of your funds in the event of your death or incapacity. Even when you are unable to handle your own affairs, you make sure they are handled the way you want. 
  3. Saving time: Instead of taking months or even years, with a trust your estate can be settled in just a few weeks of your death. There are no court delays. In the event of your incapacity, your Successor Trustee immediately takes control of your estate for your benefit. 
  4. Saving money: The costs of probate are a part of the cost of settling your estate with a will. Although a trust is initially more expensive than a will, because of the elimination of probate, the total costs of settling your estate are far less. Use a competent estate planning attorney and not only will there be a cost savings, but the ease of creating your trust will surprise you.
  5. Providing privacy: A living trust is private. If you become incapacitated, it will remain a private family affair. Upon your death, no announcements need be placed in the paper to invite creditors to file claims, to contest your will, or to notify disgruntled relatives. Your beneficiaries need not be made public.
  6. Preventing litigation: A properly worded trust will deter beneficiaries from litigating over assets and wasting the estate's money.
  7. Eliminate or reduce estate tax: With special planning built into your trust agreement, you may reduce or in some cases even eliminate any estate taxes which would be charged upon your death.
  8. Effective Pre-Nuptial Planning. Any property that you place in your trust before you marry is and remains the property of that trust. 
  9. Charity: A trust can be set up with the purpose of providing gifts to charity.
  10. Low Maintenance: Once your trust is set up, there will be few changes. You will amend your trust only when you wish to change your beneficiaries or successor trustee, or other details. Occasionally the government will pass a law which affects your trust, however this is rare. An amendment to your trust is generally a simple process.