Why Would I Want a Revocable Trust?

Attorney Thomas B. Burton answers the following question:

"Why Would I Want a Revocable Trust?"


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Hello, this is Attorney Thomas Burton and today's question is the following:

“Why would I want a revocable trust?”


So this is a great question and I can think of a couple of reasons, why you would want a revocable trust and some reasons why you may not need one and I want to discuss them today.


In my practice, we often use revocable trust or revocable living trust to avoid probate and assets upon your death. Probate is the court administered process, where they take your will, they read the content and distribute it to the people named in your will, if you have one. If you do not have a will, they get distributed according to the laws, the legislature has created called the Statutes of Intestacy.


Now, with a revocable living trust, you can avoid probate completely, that's avoiding the time, expense and delay of probate and in Wisconsin, probate takes anywhere from six months to two years and it has court costs, attorney’s fees, filing fees Etc.


Now, the second major reason people use a revocable living trust is privacy. Whereas a will is a public court process, a trust keeps everything private and you can keep your trust private upon death.


The third major reason is avoiding a court-ordered guardianship. Trusts are very useful because you can place your property in the trust and administer it yourself as trustee as long as you are healthy and able. If, however, you suffer incapacity, have a stroke or something else, you're in a coma, for example, you can have a successor trustee such as a friend, relative or bank, named to take over the trust and administer your assets in your absence. Examples would be, paying the taxes on your home, the electric bill, the water bill, upkeep of property Etc.


So those are three major reasons to have a revocable living trust.


Now, if you don't have any probate assets or you don't have many assets at all, perhaps a revocable living trust isn't right for you. It depends on your mix of assets and your goals, weather it makes sense for you. But those are the major reasons, I can see, three of the big reasons why revocable living trust can be a big plus in your estate planning.


Great question and thank you for asking.


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