As you begin the estate planning process, you should know that you have many tools at your disposal in addition to a standard will. For example, you may consider a revocable trust to transfer your assets to your loved ones after you are gone. A revocable trust is beneficial in that it allows you to:
- Maintain your privacy.
- Maintain more control of your assets.
- Avoid probate.
- Make changes to the trust or revoke it entirely.
- Protect your trust assets by naming a trustee to manage the trust if you ever become incapacitated.
How do I create a revocable living trust?
A revocable living trust can be a very effective estate planning tool for Texas residents. Here are the steps you may have to take to create your trust:
- Decide what assets to transfer: First, you will decide which assets to transfer into the trust. Many people decide to transfer items of value, including real estate, business interests, financial accounts and antiques and collectibles.
- Choose your beneficiaries: You must then decide who will be receiving each of the assets in the trust.
- Choose a trustee: The trustee you choose will be in charge of distributing the assets in the trust upon your death, in accordance with your wishes. The person you choose should be trustworthy and able to handle the responsibilities of managing a trust. You can also choose another trustee as a second option if the first one is unavailable.
- Create a revocable living trust document: Your document should include a list of the items to be transferred into the trust, a list of beneficiaries and the name of a trustee. Your attorney can make sure this document is created correctly and that all items are properly titled.
- Notarize and sign: The next step is to sign the trust document in front of a notary.
- Re-title and transfer assets: The assets listed in the trust document must be transferred into the name of the trust, so that the trust becomes the owner of the property. This can be a complex process that requires the help of a financial expert or attorney.
- Store the document securely: Once the document is completed, you will need to store it safely along with any property certificates and titles listing the trust as an owner. Provide copies of the document to your trustees and beneficiaries.
If you think that a revocable trust may be right for you, you can speak to an estate planning attorney to begin the process of creating the trust. Your attorney can make sure your trust meets all legal requirements, as well as your needs.