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Who should use revocable trusts?

Many people who want to pass on assets to loved ones in the event of their death can do so by having a legally-binding will created. However, for some people here in California, that is not the only option and there may be other possibilities that better suit their needs. A revocable trust may make sense for some, particularly those in higher income brackets. Here are some of the reasons that revocable trusts may be the best way to distribute assets.

When a person dies, even if he or she has a will, the estate has to go through the probate process. If that person has designated assets for a trust, those assets may not be subject to probate. This makes the settling of an estate happen much more quickly, sometimes in just a few days rather than a year, which is how long settling can take otherwise. The probate process also becomes public record, but details of a trust are not, giving more privacy to those who want it. This could help stop challenges to the estate administration in court, which a trust itself may also prevent.

However, having one’s assets put into a trust can take significant time and expense, so it’s not the right choice for everyone. In some cases, the costs of setting up a trust may be less than costs incurred in the process of probate, so having a revocable trust would make sense. It can also be particularly helpful to those with real estate in other states, as it may simplify the process of selling that property.

For those who want to know more about revocable trusts and whether having one may make sense for them, an attorney may be able to help. An experienced estate planning attorney here in California can lay out all of the possibilities for an estate owner so that he or she can make an informed choice. It may be the best decision that person makes for the future of his or her loved ones.

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