What is a Revocable Living Trust?

It is an extremely popular type of estate planning document.  A revocable Living Trust is a written document that many clients sign to ensure that (a) probate can be avoided if they ever become incapacitated, as well as upon their death, and (b) their affairs will remain private. 

It is an agreement having 3 parties:

(1) the Trustmaker(s)—the person(s) signing the written Trust Agreement that establishes the Trust;

(2) the Trustee(s)--the person(s) and/or institution signing the written Trust Agreement who will be responsible for managing the Trust pursuant to the language in the Trust Agreement; and

(3) the Beneficiary or Beneficiaries—the person(s) and/or institution(s) who will benefit from distributions made by the Trustee from the Trust. 

The same person(s) may be the Trustmaker(s), the Trustee(s), and the initial beneficiary or beneficiaries.

After it is signed, the Trust Agreement may be revoked or amended by the Trustmaker(s).

A revocable Living Trust typically includes provisions detailing how the Trust assets are to be expended during any period in which a Trustmaker is incapacitated, as well as provisions describing how the remaining Trust assets are to be disposed of after a Trustmaker’s death.

Assets that are payable to, or titled in, a Living Trust are not subject to Probate if the Trustmaker becomes incapacitated, or upon a Trustmaker’s death.