As you get ready to make a Revocable Living Trust, there are certain things you’ll want to consider. Here are a few of the things you and your estate planning attorney will discuss:
- Will you use individual trusts or shared trusts? Obviously, if you’re single, you’ll need an individual trust. And, most married couples opt for a shared trust. But, what about domestic partners or cohabiting couples? Your estate planning attorney can help you decide which option is best for you.
- Who will serve as your successor trustee? You will be initial trustee of your own revocable living trust. But, who will be trustee when you pass away? Especially if you have an individual trust, this is an incredibly important decision. You’ll want to choose someone who’s trustworthy, capable, financially savvy and willing to take on the job. Make sure you check with your successor trustee before you put your trust in writing.
- Who will serve as your disability trustee? Your revocable living trust can be an invaluable part of your disability plan. If you ever suffer an injury or illness that leaves you unable to take care of yourself, your disability trustee can step in and take over the management of your trust property. He or she will likely be the same person as your successor trustee. If they’re not the same person, they’ll need to have the same qualities.
- Consider what property you’ll transfer into your trust. You’ll need to think about what property you want to transfer into your trust. This is the property you’ll want to keep out of probate when you pass away, and it’s the property you’ll want your disability trustee to have access to if you’re ever incapacitated. Your estate planning attorney will help you figure out which property needs to go into your trust, and will let you know how to transfer it.
- Who are the ultimate beneficiaries of the trust? You’ll want to have an idea of where you want your property to go after you pass away. Who should get what, and in what shares? Do you want your property to go to your children, your grandchildren, your favorite charities? Do you want your property to be distributed immediately upon your death, or held in trust for all or part of your beneficiaries’ lifetimes?
Your estate planning attorney can help you with all of this and more.