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Revocable Living Trust

How does the REVOCABLE LIVING TRUST work? Here’s an example:
The REVOCABLE LIVING TRUST may remove the necessity of Probate, by pouring all of the assets that may be subject to probate from what would be your estate into the REVOCABLE LIVING TRUST. Once the assets are out of your name and in the trust, they are no longer subject to probate. This is because a Probate is meant to take all assets that were in the name of the Deceased and order that the assets go to the proper beneficiaries and heirs.

I know you have heard the term PROBATE and probably don’t think too kindly of the prospect. After all, probate has always been portrayed as horribly expensive, difficult to be involved in and making the worst of an all ready bad situation, someone’s death. You hear the tales of greed, thievery and anger that go with the word Probate.

In reality, in many cases, probate is not what most people believe it is. After all, the basic definition of probate is that someone has died; leaving property in their name and the only way to transfer the property to heirs or beneficiaries is for the Court to order it. But don’t be misled, though it may sound easy, even the simplest probate can be expensive and time consuming!. Additionally. if there is no will, then the probate assets descend by blood lines which may not have been the way you would have wanted the assets to descend. If there is a will, then the will may be contested, there will be attorney fees, possible personal representative fees and other costs as well. The REVOCABLE LIVING TRUST removes all of these problems that may arise in a Probate.

I believe that it is even more important to consider a REVOCABLE LIVING TRUST, so as to avoid the necessity of a GUARDIANSHIP. Guardianship is a court proceeding where a proposed Guardian, who you may or may not know, asks the Court to allow them to control both your personal care and management, and/or management of your assets and finances, or both. This occurs when someone believes a person has become incapacitated and is no longer able to care for themselves or take care of their finances. It can begin with a hospitalization, where the staff thinks there is incapacity, or by someone you don’t even know attempting to open a Guardianship on your behalf.

The potential problems with a Guardianship are many.

  1. The Guardianship, which is an ongoing court proceeding, may last for as long as the incapacitated person lives. This can be a great number of years. There can be an expense in the thousands the first year of the Guardianship and every year thereafter the costs keep growing. Every year thereafter, an audit must be done; an accounting and other expenses arise.
  2. Every time something changes in the care of the incapacitated, such as a rent increase at a nursing home, an attorney must go to court and get an order granting the increase or whatever the change is. This means that attorney fees are ongoing for as long as the Guardianship is in existence.
  3. The Guardian, whether a family member or professional guardian, may charge a fee for the care management given.
  4. Additionally, the Guardian is usually only answerable to the Court; they can make decisions with or without the consent of the family and loved ones.

Just like in Probate, A REVOCABLE LIVING TRUST CAN REMOVE THE NECESSITY FOR A GUARDIANSHIP. The Trust provides for your Trustees, who are chosen by you, to make all life care, healthcare and financial decisions for you in the event you become incapacitated. The Trust can exist while your are temporarily or permanently incapacitated and only becomes effective by medical providers affirming that you are incapacitated.

A REVOCABLE LIVING TRUST ALLOWS YOU TO LIVE YOUR LIFE WITHOUT ANY GREAT CHANGES. All assets in your name are poured into the Trust by depositing them into accounts you may already have! Sometimes its as easy as merely changing the name on your checking and savings accounts! At any time, as long as you are not incapacitated, you can revoke the trust, change it, add assets or take away assets. You can easily change your successor trustees, beneficiaries or other terms of the Trust.

Along with the Trust, your Advanced Directives, such as a LIVING WILL, HEALTH CARE SURROGATE, DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY AND LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT, are prepared as part of your Trust package.

If you would like a consultation about a REVOCABLE LIVING TRUST or other matters please call our law firm in Florida at (954) 229-2226.

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