What Is a Revocable Living Trust?

A Video FAQ with Ronald K. Parsonage.

A revocable living trust is a document that is created by yourself as the grantor and its purpose is to hold assets for the benefit of yourself and your family, typically during your and their lifetimes. The idea of a revocable trust is that the assets can pass to or for the benefit of your family without probate. It has another very unique value connected to it in the fact that you can coordinate a lot of tax activities by using skip generation planning within the trust and cause the assets to pass down to your spouse, children and grandchildren without being taxed again.

© 2014 Parsonage Vandenack Williams LLC

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What Benefits Does a Trust Offer?

A Video FAQ with Mary E. Vandenack.

A trust can offer a variety of benefits. One possibility is probate avoidance. If all of your assets are titled in a trust, then the assets are not going to go through the probate process in that state.

Another advantage that a trust can offer is to protect assets from creditors. If I create a trust for my son, depending on how I structure that trust, there are certain protections from his creditors or from a divorcing spouse.

Another benefit of using a trust is to reduce estate taxes. If you have an estate tax exposure, there are certain ways you can structure the trust to protect those assets.

You can also control disposition among a mixed family. If your particular estate plan involves a remarriage and kids from one or more families, you can set up a trust so that each is treated, in some respect, fairly within that trust.

© 2014 Parsonage Vandenack Williams LLC

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What Happens If I Die Without a Will?

A Video FAQ with Ronald K. Parsonage.

The state provides an estate plan for you if you die without a will. In other words, there is a statute called Intestate Succession which specifically provides where the assets will go. It is the state’s best guess as to who should really receive the benefits. Ordinarily, most of them pass to the children and spouse; however, if you have a need for distribution to other people, the state will not take into consideration your wishes.

Additionally, you can do intestacy by using joint titling and beneficiary designations in order to cause an estate to pass both probate-free and tax-free; however, most people do not coordinate those activities very well.

© 2014 Parsonage Vandenack Williams LLC

For more information, contact us