A Revocable Living Trust (RLT) is a separate but not mutually exclusive document to a will. It is similar to a will in that it dictates the distribution of your assets after you die, but it is often encouraged to have a verified will as well as a RLT, as they cover different areas of estate law.
Benefits of a Revocable Trust
- RLTs can be quickly written and made official, and at the time of the trustor’s death the assets are immediately transferred to the trustee.
- RLT’s avoid probate court and the fees associated with it. Simple RLT’s often don’t even need a lawyer (even though they are recommended)
- Because RLT’s avoid probate court, they never have to be public. Any asset transfers done with a RLT are private.
- The “Revocable” aspect of “Revocable Living Trust” is one of it’s main benefits; should the trustor decide to change their wishes while they’re still alive, they can, and easier than with a will.
Difference Between a Revocable Living Trust and a Will
- Wills: A will has to go through probate court, which can be costly and time consuming. If the trustor has real estate in different states, the trustees will have to go through probate court in each state the real estate is in.
- RLTs: RLTs avoid probate court altogether.
Types of Assets Included
- Wills: the assets available to be transferred in wills largely include fiscal and real estate assets. In the state of Washington, personal shares of joint bank accounts, transfer-on-death bank and insurance accounts, and property already listed in a living trust can be included.
- RLTs: Living trusts can include retirement accounts, insurance policies, pay-on-death accounts, as well as physical assets. For a more comprehensive list of what can and cannot go in a RLT, contact Dimension Law Group.
In The Case of a Conflict
- A revocable Living Trust supersedes a will in the eyes of the law, so if there are inconsistencies between the trustee of a piece of property, the trustee of the RLT will take possession. If the asset has not been written into the trust, it will not be transferred unless stated by the will.
Writing a Revocable Living Trust
Revocable Living Trusts, while simpler than verified wills, can still be complicated. Depending on the size of you estate, locations of real estate, and number of assets you want to transfer in the case of your death, a RLT might require legal advice to ensure it gets followed. If you need help transferring assets into a trust, writing a trust, or executing a trust, contact us for a consultation.