Including a revocable living trust in your estate plan reduces the time and cost of administering your estate, and allows control and flexibility. A trust is not complicated or intimidating. It is merely a mechanism by which the burdens of property ownership are separated from the benefits of property ownership. The burden of owning real estate or managing investments will fall on the trustee, while the beneficiaries enjoy the benefits of property ownership such as income.

There are two broad categories of trusts: irrevocable and revocable. Revocable trusts can be amended or cancelled after they are set in motion. Irrevocable trusts are permanent and any change or revocation is rare and must be approved by the court. A person creating a trust is known as a “grantor.” When a grantor executes a revocable trust, puts property in the trust, makes themselves their own trustee, and re-titles property in the name of that trust, the grantor retains full control of that property. In fact, tax authorities consider the person and the trust to be the same entity as long as the grantor retains power over trust property. A revocable living trust immediately becomes irrevocable upon the grantor’s death, and continues to manage or distribute property as spelled out in the trust document.

The benefit to the grantor is that their loved ones can avoid the long and costly probate process by proper and effective use of the revocable trust. Probate is actually a court case that must be opened in order for a personal representative such as an executor to gain the necessary authority to distribute a decedent’s property. These cases are generally open six months to a year before any actual property can be distributed to heirs or beneficiaries. Probate is also costly. Attorneys for the personal representative as well as the personal representative generally charge two or more percent of the estate’s assets. The court also takes a fee for the service of supervising the estate.

Utah estate planning attorneys are well-versed in specific state laws dealing with trusts. By executing a revocable living trust with a estate planning attorney before death and transferring all property to it, costly and time-consuming probate may be avoided. You can rest easy knowing your loved ones will save money and receive the benefits of your property as you wish. If you are in Weber or Davis county, call our skilled estate planning attorneys today!