Do More with a Living Trust
Having a will is an essential first step in a complete estate plan, but many people choose to add a revocable living trust. What exactly is a living trust and what are some of the advantages? A living trust, which is completely revocable, is merely another way to hold assets during your lifetime. Your brokerage account, home, investment property and other assets can be held in the trust. In most cases, the person establishing the trust (the grantor) will serve as trustee and, during lifetime, will continue to be taxed on the income from the trust. At death, trust assets pass under the trust terms, with the successor trustee named in the trust document overseeing the distribution. Living trusts have several advantages:
Reduced probate costs — Property transferred to a revocable living trust during life is not subject to the delays, expenses and restrictions of probate.
Privacy — Unlike wills, revocable living trusts are not public documents.
Assistance in the event of disability — If the grantor of a living trust becomes incapacitated, a standby trustee steps in to continue handling trust assets, without having to resort to a court-appointed guardian.
Coordinated estate plans — At death, your will can provide that assets not already in the living trust be added and distributed under the trust’s provisions.
Remember that gifts can be made to charity, during lifetime or at death, from a living trust.
Director of Institutional Advancement
The materials contained on this website are intended only to show some ways by which you can make a charitable gift or bequest and thereby minimize federal tax liabilities, as authorized by the Internal Revenue Code. All examples are of a general nature only and should not be applied to your specific situation without first consulting your attorney or other advisers.