While there are several ways to ensure that your beneficiaries in California are well cared for after your death, revocable trusts provide flexibility before your passing. Added flexibility, especially if the grantor becomes disabled during their lifetime, is one of the greatest advantages of the revocable trust.
How is a revocable trust different from other estate-planning methods?
A revocable trust, just like an irrevocable trust, is created between an individual known as the grantor and a person or a company known as the trustee or administer of the trust. The document provides the trustee with a written account of the grantor’s desires upon their death. Unlike an irrevocable trust, the revocable trust provides the right to amend distributions, make changes or revoke the trust at any time.
A will, unlike trusts, only becomes active upon death. Health care directives provide written descriptions of your wishes and allow a trusted person to be named as an agent if someone should have to speak on your behalf while you’re incapacitated. However, a health care directive does not provide post-mortem instruction of your assets.
Estate planning as a tool for today and tomorrow
Wills, trusts, POAs, health care directives and other tools are simply legal mechanisms to enforce a person’s desires upon becoming incapacitated or passing away. Planning for what will happen to your estate upon your passing reduces the burden on your remaining family members and potentially reduces a lengthy probate process. Similarly, keeping your estate plan up to date is important because it should adequately reflect your wishes as circumstances change. This is especially true after a divorce or other life events that make it desirable to update an estate plan.
Establishing or keeping an estate plan up to date is very important. Having an experienced attorney help you through the process may make navigating the documentation easier and aid you in choosing the appropriate trusts and beneficiaries. If you have more questions about whether a revocable trust is right for your estate plan, an attorney may assist you.