why would i want a revocable living trust?
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Learn More About Revocable Living Trusts and Why You May Want to Create a Trust
to Transfer Your Monetary Assets
WHY WOULD I WANT A REVOCABLE
DENNIS D. DUFFY Iowa Estate Planning Attorneyhttp://www.duffylawoffice.com/estate_planning/index.php/estate-planning/
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When you are planning your estate you can use a last will to express your final
wishes regarding the transfer of your monetary assets.
The last will is the most commonly utilized vehicle of asset transfer in the field
of estate planning, but it is not your only option. You may want to consider the
creation of a revocable living trust as an alternative.
A POPULAR MISCONCEPTION
Revocable living trusts are often used by those who would like to arrange for
asset transfers outside
When you use a last will
to arrange for the
distribution of assets
that were in your
personal possession at
the time of your death,
the property becomes
probate property at first. The heirs to the estate do not receive their
inheritances until after the estate has been probated and closed by the court.
There are some drawbacks that go along with the probate process. For one
thing, it can be quite time-consuming. The exact duration of probate will vary
on a case-by-case basis depending on the jurisdiction in question and the nature
of the circumstances. However, suffice to say that it will take months at
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minimum. There are cases that are quite complicated that wind up in probate
for multiple years.
Probate is not free. There are considerable costs
that can accumulate during the probate
process. The court will charge a filing fee, and
there are legal expenses. The executor of the
estate is entitled to remuneration for his or her
time and effort. be necessary, and there may be
appraisal and liquidation expenses.
When you add all of this together a noticeable
portion of the estate can be absorbed during
probate. Anything that is spent during probate
would have otherwise gone into the pockets of
the heirs to the estate.
If you want your loved ones to receive their
inheritances in a timely and cost-effective manner, you may want to consider a
revocable living trust, because the asset transfers will not be subject to the
With a revocable living trust you retain ongoing control of the assets. As the
grantor of the trust you can act as the trustee and the beneficiary while you are
still living. You can change the terms as you see fit. You can even rescind or
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revoke the trust at any time and re-assume personal possession of the assets
that you have conveyed into it.
Revocable living trusts are for the most part used to avoid probate. However,
there is another advantage that you gain when you create a revocable living
A significant percentage of senior citizens become incapacitated late in their
lives. There are various different causes of incapacity, but the existence of
Alzheimer's disease alone is enough to make incapacity planning a must.
Somewhere in the vicinity of 40 percent of people who are at least 85 suffer
from Alzheimer's disease. If you were to experience Alzheimer's induced
dementia, you may become unable to handle your own financial affairs.
When you create a revocable living trust you can name a successor or disability
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trustee. This trustee would be empowered to
administer the trust in the event of your
You could name an individual that you know to
act as the disability trustee if it becomes
necessary. However, you may want to consider
the utilization of a professional fiduciary entity
such as a trust company or the trust
department of a bank.
When you use a corporate trustee you gain
some advantages. The longevity of the trustee is
not a factor, the assets will be managed with
expertise, and there is inherit oversight.
A revocable living trust will facilitate the transfer
of assets to the beneficiaries outside of the legal
process of probate. This process is time-
consuming, and it can be expensive.
When you create a revocable living trust you do
not surrender control of the assets while you are
Living Trusts: Plan Ahead for Your Family's Future
Creating Trusts and Living Trusts Put Your Family
A Living Trust is a very versatile estate planning
tool - one that can be customized to suit all your
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You can also account for the possibility of incapacity by naming a disability
To learn about the benefits of revocable living trusts in greater detail, arrange
for a consultation with a licensed estate planning attorney.
Iowa Bar Association
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About the Author
Dennis D. Duffy
Dennis Duffy combines an extensive background in business with a
wide range of legal experience to provide his clients with a uniquely
practical perspective. An attorney since 1989, he practices primarily
in Estate Planning, Wills, Trusts and Probate. Mr. Duffy also offers
frequent educational seminars on a variety of estate planning topics
to both the general public and private groups in the Quad Cities
Mr. Duffy has been practicing law since 1989, when he joined the general practice firm of
Bozeman, Neighbour, Patton&Noe in Moline Illinois. In 1990, Mr. Duffy and five other
attorneys founded the law firm of Anderson & Nelson, with offices in Rock Island, Illinois and
Davenport Iowa; the firm eventually grew to 12 attorneys, with Mr. Duffy as managing
partner. He founded Duffy Law Office in 1995.
Before returning to school for his advanced law and business degrees, Mr. Duffy worked for
nearly a decade for Per Mar Security & Research Corp. in Davenport, as Vice President.
Mr. Duffy is a member of the American and state bar associations of both Iowa and Illinois as
well as the Scott and Rock Island County Bar Associations.
He is an executive member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys. He is co-
author of the book Estate Planning Basics A Crash Course in Safeguarding Your Legacy.
Also, the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys announced that Mr. Duffy was
honored with the Academy Fellow designation. The Fellow program recognizes Academy
Members who demonstrate advanced expertise and significant practical experience in the
estate planning, trust, tax planning, guardianship, probate and estate administration fields.
Duffy Law Office
Helping Families Preserve their Wealth
1840 E. 54th Street
Davenport, IA 52807http://www.duffylawoffice.com/estate_planning/index.php/living-trusts/
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