A revocable living trust is a legal entity created to hold your assets. It is a sort of “rulebook” for how your assets will be distributed when you are gone. It is not a will. A revocable living trust is used in conjunction with a “pour-over” will, which will do things like name your executor, or guardians for your children.
Revocable living trusts are commonly used to avoid probate (the court-supervised process of wrapping up a person’s estate). Probate can be expensive, time consuming, and is often more of a burden than a help. In New York, fees associated with probate can run as high a 7% of the total estate. In addition, the process will likely take at least one year, significantly delaying the date when your beneficiaries can receive potentially critical assets. Property left through a revocable living trust, however, passes to beneficiaries without probate.
It is very important that, after the trust document is made, any property to be covered by the trust is properly transferred into the trust. If you choose an estate plan with us that includes a revocable living trust, we provide you with all the tools you need to makes these transfers yourself (we even have a system in place to follow up until it’s done!) And don’t worry – if you simply don’t have the time to do it yourself, we can transfer the assets for you.