Free Revocable Living Trust

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Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I have a Living Trust?A Living Trust is a useful estate planning tool that allows the user to arrange how some or all of their assets will be managed after their passing. A Last Will and Testament may help achieve a similar goal, but a Living Trust does not need to go through complicated and potentially expensive probate procedures. What is community property?In a community property jurisdiction, most property acquired during the marriage (except for gifts or inheritances) — the community property — is owned jointly by both spouses and is divided upon divorce, annulment, or death. Joint ownership is automatically presumed by law in the absence of specific evidence that would point to a contrary conclusion for a particular piece of property.

Community property retains its community character when a couple move from a community to a noncommunity State. Any property that each partner brings into the marriage or receives by gift, bequest or devise during marriage is called separate property (i.e., not community property).

In the United States there are ten community property jurisdictions: Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Puerto Rico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. Alaska allows couples to opt into a community property arrangement.

If you have community property, then a joint living trust for married or domestic couples may be appropriate; otherwise, you are usually better off having individual living trusts. If you want to proceed with a joint living trust, you should review all state law related to joint revocable trusts and property transfer considerations in your state of residence. In addition to being a community property or a non-community property state, your state may have other specific considerations related to creation of joint revocable trusts.
One Person
Married Couple
Two People Who Are Not Married To Each Other<br/>(family members, domestic partners, etc.)

A Living Trust is a useful estate planning tool that allows the
contributor to stay in control of their property as the trustee while
they are alive and arrange how some or all of their assets will be
managed after their passing

Revocable Living Trust Information

Alternate Names:

A Revocable Living Trust is also known as:

  • Living Trust
  • Grantor Trust
  • Inter-vivo Trust

What is a Revocable Living Trust?

A Revocable Living Trust is used in estate planning to designate who will receive your property when you die. The term "revocable" means that a trust can be amended or revoked at any time by its creator, and assets can be added or removed from the trust as needed.

Who are the parties in a Living Trust?

  • Grantor/Trustor: The grantor, also called a trustor, is the individual who creates and funds the trust.
  • Trustee: The trustee is the person who will be managing the trust's assets. The trustee is most often the grantor, but he or she may assign someone else to be in control of the trust.
  • Co-grantors/Co-trustees: These two individuals, usually spouses, own and control the trust together. When one co-trustee dies, the other assumes full responsibility for the trust.
  • Successor Trustee: The successor trustee is the individual appointed to retain control of the trust when the primary trustee passes away or becomes incapacitated.

What types of property can go into a Living Trust?

Property with high monetary value is placed into a trust to protect it until the assets are ready to be transferred to the intended beneficiaries. Some examples include:

  • Real estate
  • Securities, such as stock, bonds, or mutual funds
  • Business interest
  • Bank/cash accounts and notes payable
  • Valuable personal property, such as jewelry, artwork, antiques, and more

Typically, property with low monetary value or assets that need to be insured, like vehicles, are not placed into a trust.

How do I make a Living Trust?

To set up a Living Trust, you first create a Revocable Living Trust document and appoint a trustee. You may then list the property you will place in the trust, as well as your beneficiaries.

After executing your Living Trust document properly, you will need to transfer your property into the trust. This can be done by naming the trustee, for the trust, as the owner of your assets.

For instance, if you wish to put real estate in your trust, you need to transfer ownership of your property to that of the trust with a Quitclaim Deed or Warranty Deed, listing the trustee as the owner, for the trust.

Who should have a Living Trust?

Revocable Living Trusts are beneficial for those with complicated estate plans, and a significant amount of assets. With a trust, the individual, as trustee, retains control of their assets until they pass away or become incapacitated. It also allows a successor trustee to easily take over the duties and maintenance of the trust if you are suddenly injured or in an accident, and shields your finances and last wishes from the public probate process.

Other reasons someone might set up a trust is if they own real estate in another state, or wish to ensure ongoing financial support to a loved one after their death.

Those with relatively straightforward estate plans or couples who don't have many assets may not need a Living Trust.

What is the difference between a Revocable Living Trust and a Last Will?

A Living Trust is similar to a Last Will and Testament in that it allows an individual to control what happens to their assets after death. The main difference is that a Living Trust does not need to go through probate, therefore lowering the cost and time it takes to distribute your assets after death.

Much like an executor carries out estate plans in a will, a successor trustee carries out the instructions in a Living Trust.

If you create a Living Trust, you still need to have a Last Will and Testament for any property you left out of the trust.

What is the difference between a Living Trust and a Living Will?

A Living Trust and Living Will are both used in estate planning. However, a trust is intended to secure assets, and control property, whereas a Living Will is a document used to spell out your medical wishes for your family and health care representatives if you suddenly become incapacitated.

Related Documents:

  • Last Will and Testament: a document that allows you to control where your assets go after death, and to name guardians for dependent children
  • Living Will/Health Care Directive: a document used to express your medical wishes should you ever become unable to make health care decisions for yourself
  • Quitclaim Deed: a document used to transfer a property title between two parties, without the warranties of a full, clear title
  • Warranty Deed: a deed used by a seller to transfer property, with the guarantee of a clear title, to a buyer

Related Articles:

Frequently Asked Questions:

Living Trust FAQ
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