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Why You Want a Revocable Living Trust

Attorney Robert Franco

Robert Franco

Robert Franco has been practicing law for over a decade. He specializes in wills and trusts, as well as probate and estate administration. Robert grew up in the Pacific Northwest and now lives in Woodinville with his wife and three kids.

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Why You Want a Revocable Living Trust

In the first part of the revocable living trust series, we address a question our clients often ask: What is a revocable living trust, and do I need one?

Setting up a revocable living trust has the following benefits

  1. Avoiding probate
  2. Reducing the risk of estate litigation
  3. Privacy
  4. Determining the character of property owned during the marriage

There are several potential benefits to owning your assets and property (your house, bank, and brokerage accounts, your unopened collection of Wheaties boxes dating back to the 1950s) in a revocable trust. The main benefit is avoiding probate. Any asset inside the trust will pass to your beneficiaries according to the terms of the trust without having to go through probate. Avoiding probate can save time and legal expenses. Probate in Washington isn’t the nightmare it is in some states, but it still means going to court. It means hiring a lawyer. It means lots of extra time and delays.

Avoiding probate can also reduce the risk of litigation after you die. Your family and friends can still litigate over your revocable living trust, but the process of doing so is more difficult. With a Will in probate, your executor must give your family notice that probate has been opened.

They are essentially invited to join in a lawsuit. With a trust, a disgruntled relative would need to hire a lawyer and start an entirely new court proceeding. So if you think there is a risk of your relatives fighting over your Will, you should consider a revocable living trust.

You May Also Like: Is a Will Enough or Do I Need a Revocable Living Trust?

Another benefit that can be vital for some people is privacy. A last Will and testament become a publicly available document when admitted to probate. That means anyone can see the contents of your Will. A trust on the other hand is a private document that does not become public after you die. Putting property in a trust puts it in the name of the trust and keeps it out of your own name. So if you are concerned with privacy, you should consider a revocable living trust.

Finally, for married couples, having a revocable living trust can help clarify which property is community property and which property is separate property. By creating a joint trust, both spouses agree to the character of the property they own. That can help in death or in a divorce if there is a dispute over whether a certain asset is a community or separate property.

Avoiding probate, reducing the likelihood of litigation, protecting your privacy, and minimizing asset disputes are the primary benefits of a revocable living trust. In our final part in the series, we review the common misconceptions and limitations.

Knowledgeable | Practical | Compassionate

At Eastside Estate Planning we focus exclusively on estate law and offer reasonable flat fees, depending on your individual needs. With 10 years of legal experience and an advanced tax degree, Robert is an expert at explaining complex estate planning concepts simply and advising his clients to make the best decision. Contact Robert or schedule a free consultation to learn more.

Interested in learning more about our services?

Visit our website for more information, or schedule a free consultation with Robert to receive a personalized quote.

Service Areas:

Eastside Estate Planning is dedicated to providing estate planning, last will, and trusts services to individuals and families in the following areas:

Bellevue | Redmond | Monroe | Duvall

If you reside in any of these locations and are in need of professional estate planning assistance, we are here to help. Robert is committed to delivering personalized and top-quality estate planning solutions to clients within these cities. Contact us today to discuss your estate planning needs and secure the future of your assets.

You May Also Like: Three Common Misconceptions About Revocable Living Trusts


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