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Wills and trusts: The benefits of a revocable trust

Every Virginia resident needs an estate plan, regardless of age and income level. Discussing death can be difficult, but death is something that will happen to every person, so why not have a plan in place? Wills and trusts are estate planning tools that many families are familiar with. However, it can be confusing to find the plan that best fits the specific needs of an individual or family. Here are a few reasons why a revocable trust could be beneficial.

Revocable trusts, also know as living revocable trusts, are written documents that determine how assets will be handled in the event of death. Assets placed in the trust are then transferred to designated beneficiaries upon the death of the trustmaker. What sets a revocable trust apart from other trusts is that revocable trusts can be changed or cancelled at any time, hence the name "revocable."

Flexibility is the major advantage of a revocable trust. Circumstances often change in life, and a revocable trust can be amended to reflect a major life change. Another benefit is that assets will avoid going through the lengthy process of probate. Probate is a public process that can take several months. Unlike wills, assets in a revocable trusts can also be distributed in private.

A downside to revocable trusts is that it can take quite a bit of work upfront to get assets moved into the trust. However, once this is done, there will be less hassle and worry down the road. Virginia families who have questions about wills and trusts, or any type of estate planning could benefit from discussions with a legal representative. A seasoned attorney can provide guidance and help families find the best options to fit their needs.

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