It was a pleasure to see so many of you at our successor trustee workshop at the end of January! For those who couldn’t attend – or for anyone who would like a refresher – below are more details on one of the elements we discussed: your revocable living trust.
Your revocable living trust allows you to determine what will happen to your assets if you become physically or mentally incapacitated and after your death. Here are five unique benefits:
1. You Control The Assets.
As a trustee of your revocable living trust, you maintain complete control over your assets. All that changes is the name on the titles. You will continue to choose to do exactly what you’d like with your assets and you may change or dissolve the trust at any time. How you file taxes won’t change, either.
2. You Decide Who Has Control In Case Of Incapacity Or Death.
If you name a co-trustee, either of you can immediately act if the other person becomes incapacitated or dies. If something happens to both trustees, or if you are the only trustee, your successor trustee – the person you have specifically chosen – will have control of your trust and its assets.
3. You Choose Your Successor Trustee.
You might decide to name an adult child, family member, or trusted friend as your successor trustee as well as another person who can serve as a backup if the first person isn’t able to fulfill the required duties. In many cases, a professional trustee, such as an attorney, CPA, or corporate fiduciary, is a better choice.
4. Your Successor Trustee’s Duties Are Clear.
Your successor trustee will step in to manage your care and finances, for as long as you need, if you become incapacitated. He or she will pay your bills with your assets during that time and will pass control back to you when you recover.
Your successor trustee will step in when you die to file required taxes, pay bills, and distribute your assets according to your wishes, as written in your trust. The court is not involved and activities can be kept private.
5. You May Choose A Professional Trustee.
You may decide to name yourself or another individual as an initial trustee or co-trustee. But when choosing a successor trustee to administer your trust during incapacity or upon death, a professional trustee is a logical choice if you don’t have someone who has the time, desire, or expertise to serve in a fiduciary capacity. Attorneys, accountants, and corporate fiduciaries are all options to consider in naming a successor trustee.
Please contact us at (703) 448-7575 if you have any questions at all about your revocable living trust or any changes you’d like to make.