TRUST QUESTIONS – The following questions will determine whether you need a Revocable Trust (also known as a living trust, or intervivos trust)
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Bobby and Sue have a son Larry. Larry likes to spend money and has a substance abuse problem. Bobby and Sue created a trust for Larry, managed by Bobby’s brother. This trust has $100,000 in an investment account that Larry can only access through Bobby’s brother (the trustee), and he will only have access to the funds once he turns an age that Bobby and Sue are comfortable with.
Bobby and Sue own a piece of property that they don’t want Larry to sell, because they want it to go to their grandchildren (Larry’s kids) once Larry passes. They included in their trust a provision preventing Larry from selling the property, thereby keeping it for their grandkids in the future.
Bobby and Sue have 4 bank accounts, 3 investment accounts, 2 pieces of real estate and an RV. Bobby and Sue have properly funded their trust by transferring all these assets into the trust (this means titling into the name of the trust). Upon passing, these items will pass to their children with very minimal work, and will not require probate.
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1.Bobby and Sue are married with kids. They were unfortunately killed in a car accident and they did not have a will. Their children are now at the mercy of the courts to appoint a guardian, instead of a will.
2. Bobby and Sue want to make sure that Bobby’s brother get’s his corvette and Sue’s sister get’s her portable she-shed. The only way to make sure of this distribution is through a will.
3. Bobby and Sue believe that Bobby’s brother is irresponsible, and would prefer Sue’s sister to be the personal representative of the estate. The only way to spell this out is through her nomination in a will.
Bobby and Sue don’t trust any of their 3 kids to administer their final wishes.
4. Since they have a will, they are able to nominate someone who they trust to ensure their kids get their assets properly.
Click here to see examples of how these documents can help
1. Bobby and sue are married. Bobby gets pneumonia and is rendered unconscious. Since he named Sue as health care surrogate, Sue can make help care decisions for him.
2. Same as above, but Bobby has a bank account that only he can access. Since he named Sue has the durable power of attorney, she will have access to the funds to cover their bills.
Based on your answers, we suggest a trust because:
Assets which are properly titled in the name of the trust pass outside of probate, which is a court supervised process which is required to transfer any assets which are not in trust (or deeded through a ladybird deed). Probate takes 3-12 months and can cost your heirs several thousand dollars.
A revocable trust allows you to distribute your inheritance over time, structured exactly how you wish. You can wait until they are 35, or you can wait until they are 65 to receive everything. You have the ability to structure this distribution according to the timetable you want, and any spending restrictions.
Assets properly titled in a trust do not belong to the beneficiary, and therefore are generally not accessible by creditors or ex-spouses.