An Estate-Planning Tool With Many Advantages
A Revocable Living Trust is a powerful estate-planning tool. It does much more than efficiently transfer assets to your beneficiaries after you die. It can also allow you to manage those assets while you are alive.
The Benefits of Avoiding Probate
When all of your assets are held in a trust, you can completely avoid probate in Georgia. Avoiding probate has several advantages for your beneficiaries:
- Your beneficiaries can avoid attorney fees and court costs
- Your successor trustee can immediately manage and distribute assets according to the directions in your revocable living trust without court approval
- You can preserve your family's privacy. Probate is a public record, and anyone can find out who has died, who the heirs are and what they have inherited. Con artists and financial predators can contact your heirs based on information contained in your probate records.
- Probate is an invitation to litigation. Any dissatisfied heir or creditor can file suit in Georgia probate court. If you have a trust, litigation must be taken to superior court, where lawsuits are harder to file.
To avoid probate, all assets must be titled in the trust. Your will can have a pour-over provision to transfer untitled assets such as vehicles and checking accounts into your trust.
Managing Your Assets While You Are Alive
When assets are held in a Revocable Living Trust, your successor trustee (usually your spouse or a trusted person) can manage those assets if you are incapacitated. This can be particularly important in the case of a small, closely held business. You may assume that your spouse can manage your financial affairs if you are incapacitated, but that may not be the case. Avoid having someone you don't know or trust placed in charge of the management of your assets. A failure to plan for the future can result in a stranger being appointed by the Probate Court as a Conservator to manage and spend your assets while you are incapacitated. A Revocable Living Trust provides you with a disability plan that establishes who will handle your affairs and how your assets will be managed.
Contact Us for a Free Initial Phone Consultation
For more information about revocable living trusts, call lawyer Robert Turner at 866-768-5365 or fill out the contact form on this Web site. Our law office is located in historic downtown Decatur, Georgia, just off Decatur Square.