Haws & Burke, PC Haws & Burke, PC - Law Firm & Attorney

Revocable Trust

When you establish a revocable trust, you transfer your assets into the name of the person whom you name as trustee. That individual holds title to the assets in their capacity as your trustee. You can cancel or amend a revocable trust. The creation of the trust is only the first step. Correct implementation is critical to attaining your goals.

A common reason for creating a revocable trust is to avoid probate. For the revocable trust to be an effective device for avoiding probate, your assets (together with any insurance on those assets) should be retitled in the name of the trustee of the revocable trust. Frequently, beneficiary designations also may need to be changed to coordinate the passage of assets in a manner consistent with the disposition set forth in your revocable trust. Assets which are not retitled in this manner and do not pass separately by operation of law, may pass through probate requiring the administration of both a probate estate and a trust estate simultaneously. This common mistake can undermine your goal of using a revocable trust to avoid probate. Great care must be taken to assure that the document operates the way you intended.

Another common reason for creating a revocable trust is privacy. Frequently, celebrities place their assets into a revocable trust in order to avoid curiosity seekers who might be interested in visiting the local Register of Wills Office to learn and publish the contents of their estate plans as contained in their wills.

While a revocable trust can be a highly effective estate planning tool, it is not for everyone. In some instances, individuals have taken what would have been a simple probate estate and turned it into something much more complex. Some estate planning advisors are more interested in selling you the revocable trust along with an investment package including annuities than they are in understanding your situation. A focused analysis of your assets may reveal that a simpler, more cost effective plan will meet your needs. You may not always receive the advice that you need for your particular situation when doing documents online. We spend time with you, analyze your situation and prepare a plan to meet your needs.

Contrary to what many believe, the same tax saving trusts that can be inserted into a revocable trust can also be inserted into your will. Revocable trusts are highly recommended in states in which the probate process is unduly burdensome and expensive, such as California and Florida. TV advertisers often tell horror stories of probate in those states while seemingly unaware that in Pennsylvania, the probate code has been simplified. As a result, revocable trusts are not nearly as popular in this state.

Nevertheless, revocable trusts can provide distinct advantages in certain situations. We will review your particular circumstances and help you decide whether this tool is right for you. If so, we will prepare the trust for you tailored to your specific circumstances. We can also advise you with respect to the retitling of assets and the alterations needed with your insurance policies.

<--Return to Top-->