Scranton Revocable Living Trusts Lawyer
Revocable living trusts are popular estate planning tools that help you determine who will get your assets once you pass away. Revocable means that you can change the trust as you need or when your wishes change. Living refers to the fact that you make the trust while you are still alive.
A common reason people use living trusts is to help their loved ones avoid probate, which is the process where the court oversees the process of finalizing someone’s estate. Probate can be time consuming and expensive, and it’s often more of a burden than it is helpful. Any property included in a revocable living trust can be passed to your beneficiaries without the need to go through probate. That is why it’s crucial that you reach out to our Scranton revocable living trusts lawyers at Haggerty Hinton & Cosgrove LLP for assistance.
Information Needed for Living Trusts
You need specific information before making a living trust. This includes:
- Your spouse and children’s names, and any organizations or non-family who will be beneficiaries;
- Your name, the location, and the date the trust will be signed;
- How you prefer the assets in the trust to be distributed;
- Who will be the trustee;
- What the assets are, their value, and a thorough description of them; and
- A description of how tangible assets will be distributed (tangible assets can include jewelry, vehicles, and household items).
Advantages and Disadvantages of Revocable Living Trusts
As with other types of estate planning tools, there may be potential advantages and disadvantages of revocable living trusts. The biggest advantage of a living trust is the ability to avoid probate. You can also avoid conservatorship and/or guardianship proceedings. The trust will have a successor trustee who can step in and manage the trust in the event you become incapacitated.
Probate is a public process and that means anyone can look up your information at the courthouse and see the details of the will. This means even strangers have access to your personal information. With a trust, nothing is filed with the court.
The biggest potential disadvantage with a trust is the upfront costs, which can be high. You have to create new deeds and other necessary documents to transfer your assets into the trust. Although the cost may be higher now, it’s going to pay off in the long run since your family is spared the expense of probate and costly court-supervised guardianship in the event you become disabled or incapacitated.
Another potential disadvantage with a trust is the work needed to fund the trust. You have to contact your banks, insurance companies, and any other investment companies. Your vehicles and any other assets like boats will need to be retitled.
It may seem counter-productive, but you will still need a will. In the event your trust is only partially funded when you pass away, or you get frustrated and don’t finalize everything, your will comes into play. A special “pour-over will” catches unfunded assets and “pours” them into the trust, although these assets are subject to probate.
Retaining a Pennsylvania Estate Planning Lawyer
If you have questions about revocable living trusts or other estate planning tools, it’s important to speak with a Pennsylvania estate planning attorney. Contact Haggerty Hinton & Cosgrove LLP at 570-354-5205 to schedule a consultation. Let one of our skilled attorneys help with all your estate planning needs.