Let’s be honest, estate planning can be complicated. So many major decisions must be made and so many documents should be completed. The thing about estate planning is that each individual or family’s estate plan can be designed to fit their needs. No two estate plans need be alike.
One of the most versatile documents in the state of Illinois estate planning is the revocable living trust. A revocable living trust (or an RLT in the estate planning world) is a trust created and funded during your lifetime that you retain the power to amend or revoke. You transfer your assets into the trust but retain complete control over any asset you put into the trust. Upon your death, your successor trustee you designate in the trust document, will distribute the assets in your trust in the manner you have directed through the trust terms.
An RLT is considered revocable because you may amend or change or completely undo the trust at any time. You may add to or remove assets from the trust at any time. You may change the distributions and people named in the trust along the way. Our clients who do choose this wealth transfer route usually do so because it protects their assets and heirs from the expense and delay of the probate process. Probate is the court process for the distribution of your assets after your death. It lasts a minimum of 6 – 9 months and the costs are exponentially larger than putting an RLT in place.
A revocable living trust is also very beneficial in protecting the interests of young children. Upon your death, an RLT provides your heirs creditor protection, divorce protection, self-protection, and the all-important estate tax protection.
Although a revocable living trust is a great estate planning tool, we do not recommend it to every single client. My goal is always the best interest of the client and his or her heirs and to determine that, I must sit down and have a one-on-one interview to figure out the best course of action.
Please contact us today to set up your free consultation and determine the best course of action for you and your loved ones.