The term “living trust” has fallen by the wayside in recent years, but this type of estate planning document is still relevant. What is a living trust? It is a type of trust you establish during your lifetime instead of a will or other legal document that goes into effect upon your death. Most people in today’s times simply call a living trust a revocable trust. If you hear the latter term in a meeting with an attorney, it’s a good idea to ask questions to determine exactly what kind of trust to which the lawyer is referring.
As hinted in the above paragraph, a living trust can be made revocable, which simply means it can be amended or changed. Many people believe that being able to amend a living trust is one of its most advantageous features. Other advantages people like about a living trust include the following:
— The ability to manage one’s estate while they are still living
— The ability to keep loved ones out of probate after death
— The ability to include bank accounts which will keep them open after death
— Protection during illness or incompetency
While a living trust does not replace a last will and testament, it can provide people with an additional layer of security during the last years of their lives. This type of trust also empowers the individuals to remain in control of their lives and their estate, fostering an ongoing sense of independence.
Living trusts are likely not for everyone, but it is an option you might choose to discuss with an estate planning attorney. You can get additional information about trusts, wills and estate planning in the pages of our website.