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Revocable Living Trusts – A Good Idea?

A Revocable Living Trust can be a good estate planning option if the primary goal
of your estate plan is to avoid probate and to provide a means to manage your
assets should you become incapacitated. Transferring your property into a Trust,
including a Revocable Living Trust is also a good way to avoid the need for an
ancillary probate proceeding.

A Revocable Living Trust is a trust you set up during your lifetime. The person
who sets up the trust is called the grantor (or sometimes, the Settlor, Donor, or
Trustor). Once assets are transferred into the trust, the assets become non-probate
assets, which means that no probate will be required to distribute the assets in the
trust to the intended beneficiaries.

If a grantor transfers all of his or her assets into a Revocable Living Trust, there
will be no need for a probate proceeding because all of the assets will be in nonprobate form.

A Revocable Living Trust provides for the distribution of income and principal to the
grantor during the grantor’s lifetime. Once the grantor dies, the trust serves as a
“will substitute” because the trust itself describes how the assets in the trust will be

A Simplified Stand-Alone Revocable Living Trust can be used for the purpose of
holding out-of-state real property, such as lake cabins or vacation property owned
in another state, that would otherwise require an ancillary probate proceeding.

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