When most people think about creating an estate plan they think about drafting a will. A last will and testament is a legal document that is used to establish your wishes and how you want your legacy to be passed down to heirs and beneficiaries after you pass away. A will can address important issues such as who should have guardianship of your minor children if you and the other parent are no longer able to care for them yourselves.
But a will may not be enough to fully accomplish your goals. That’s where a revocable trust comes in. A revocable trust is often used instead of or in addition to a will because it can accomplish the same things as a will plus much more.
At our firm, we advise nearly all of our clients to create a revocable trust, which is also known as a living trust. Not only does a revocable trust ensure that your wishes are met, it can also help you to avoid probate and estate taxes, and keep your personal affairs private. On the other hand, a will must go through the formal court process known as probate, which is expensive and open to the public.
How a revocable trust works
You can create a revocable trust with the help of an estate planning lawyer. You have the ability to change the terms of your revocable trust while you are alive, as well as change the assets that are held in the trust. The revocable trust carries instructions on how the trust assets should be distributed upon your death, and because the assets are separate from your probate estate, your estate is able to bypass probate.
Ultimately, a revocable trust is an estate planning tool that just about every Massachusetts resident can benefit from. Meet with an estate planning lawyer in your area to find out how a revocable trust could serve you and your family, and also find out the special considerations that should be made for married couples who create revocable trusts.