Living Well 60+ January-February 2014 - Page 22

2 22 2 JAN/FEB 2014 JAN/FEB 2014 Can A Living Revocable Trust Benefit Your Estate? by Walter C. Cox, Jr. Attorney at Law Property Passes Free of Probate Costs Your living revocable trust agreement can do just about anything a will could do. It can provide that a specific property be paid to a designated beneficiary; that a specified dollar amount be paid to the American Institute for Cancer Research to support its ongoing war against cancer; or that the trust be continued for the benefit of designated beneficiaries. And the living revocable trust has this advantage over a will: properties you transfer to the trust will pass to your designated beneficiaries free of the costs and delays of probate. For some people, another important advantage of the living revocable trust is privacy. Unlike a will, which is always open to the public, your living revocable trust will be a private document the public need never see. Can A Living Revocable Trust Benefit Your Estate? Like thousand of other friends and supporters of the American Institute for Cancer Research, you have probably asked yourself whether you should consider a living revocable trust as the cornerstone of your personal estate plan. In most cases, a living revocable trust can avoid or minimize probate costs and delays in the distribution of property at your death. And depending on the size and nature of your estate, this can be a sound reason for creating a living revocable trust. But there are other advantages, disadvantages and alternative arrangements you may want to consider. A Living Revocable Trust Can Be Complex The first step in creating a living revocable trust is to plan and execute a rather lengthy written trust agreement - commonly called a Declaration of Trust. This agreement will establish your trust as a separate legal entity capable of owning property in its own name. It will provide detailed directions for the distribution of trust properties at your death and contain provisions designed to give you full and a complete control over the trust properties during your life. The second essential step is to transfer the legal ownership of certain properties to the trust. You can generally transfer stocks, bonds, and mutual fund shares by having them reissued in the name of the trust. Real property can be transferred to the trust by a deed that is properly recorded. Business interests, bank accounts or other properties can also be transferred to the trust. Some Questions and Answers - Living (Revocable) Trust I. What is an Estate Plan? An Estate Plan is the creation of a definite plan for managing your wealth while you are alive and distribution it after your death. Your Estate is defined as all the wealth accumulated during your lifetime. Example of property may include the following. 1. Real property (residence) and (rental property) 2. Business interests (partner TRUST Continued on Page 31 WILL vs.is the Best Option TRUST Why a Living Trust Have a Trust (No Probate) Have a Will (Probate) A Living Trust is the fail proof way to pass along your estate to your heirs without lawyers, courts or the probate system. Probate is the system that removes the name of a deceased person from the assets. • All claims, real or imagined, must be settled to the court’s satisfaction • Probate takes time . . . many months or even years • Probate costs money . . . 4% to 8% of the estate value is not uncommon • Probate is public record • A will is of no help if you become incapacitated Please call 859-514-6033 or fill out this form for a consultation in our office: Name Address City, State, Zip Phone Age • Be in total control for as long as you live and are competent • Eliminate court interference if you become incapacitated • Administer your estate yourself before you die. • Let your children do final settlement without cost or dela