Reason Number 5 “UNDERSTANDING A LIVING TRUST”
A living trust provides instructions on how to manage your affairs during your lifetime, incapacity and at
death. Since a living trust can only control the assets you put into it, it’s crucial to fund it through the
active retitling of assets, which also allows you to avoid probate. Once placed in the trust, your assets
can be managed by a trustee for the benefit of your heirs.
If you utilize a revocable living trust, also called an inter vivos trust, you may transfer ownership of some
or all of your property to yourself in your capacity as trustee, so you don’t give up any control over those
assets. Upon your death, the successor trustee will transfer your property and assets directly to your
beneficiaries. Under the umbrella of a trust, you may name the people or organizations you want to
inherit your assets upon your death. You also have the right to change those choices at any time, as well
as revoke the trust if you wish.
A revocable living trust is ideal for assets located in more than one state in order to eliminate the
potential for multi-state probates. Given that a living trust is not subject to probate, you avoid both the
costs and the delays associated with these court proceedings. It is also private, so details of your assets
cannot be accessed publicly.
The exemption amounts established by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act have temporarily changed the estate
planning landscape. This makes it particularly important to rely on the analysis and guidance of an
experienced advisor, especially when it comes to the use of a trust.
In addition to tax planning, trusts can be used to help you retain control and management of assets,
protect your estate, plan for a disability, maximize your philanthropic goals and avoid probate.
Work with an experienced financial advisor and trust consultant to maximize today’s tax laws for your
particular situation to help ensure your assets are maximized, protected and distributed as intended
upon your death.
Changes in tax laws or regulations may occur at any time and could substantially impact your situation. Raymond James
financial advisors do not render advice on tax or legal matters. You should discuss any tax or legal matters with the appropriate
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