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Living Trust

Living Trust, Revocable Living Trust

What is a Living Trust or a Revocable Living Trust?

A Living Trust (also commonly called a revocable living trust) is created by individuals (who are called trustors, settlors, or donors) who during their lifetime sign a written trust declaration.  A living trust (also commonly called a revocable living trust) is distinguished from a "testamentary trust," which is created within a will.  A testamentary trust comes into existence upon the death of the person who signed the will, and not before.

The terms "living trust" and "revocable living trust" are common names used for the trust which are created during the lifetime of the person or persons creating the trust. The terms "living trust" and "revocable living trust" are most often associated with trusts in which (1) individuals create a trust during their lifetime (for example, when a married couple jointly create one trust; and who are called trustors, settlors, or donors); and (2) these individuals receive benefits from the trust during their lifetimes and they are the primary beneficiaries of the trust; and (3) upon the last to die of the individuals who created the trust, all trust assets are then distributed to the designated secondary or family beneficiaries of the trust.

How do I determine whether a Living Trust is right for me?

Is a living trust appropriate for everyone? Some attorneys will answer yes, others will answer no.  Depending on your answers to the following, you may decide that a living trust fits your circumstances.  For example:

  1. Do you want to make sure that a family member does inherit property from you
  2. Do you own land in a state other than Texas
  3. Do you have any significant impairments or disabilities, or are you a "seasoned" senior citizen
  4. Do you want to avoid commingling inherited property or separate property with your community property which is jointly owned by you and your spouse
  5. Do you want to conceal your estate assets from the inspection of third parties
  6. Do you want to avoid probate.

Or you may decide that a will fits your circumstances better.  In any case, you should seek the advice and counsel of a Texas attorney on whether or not a living trust is best for you.            

What costs are associated with establishing a Living Trust?

The cost (1) to prepare a living trust, and (2) to fund the living trust (that is, the time consuming process of transferring property to the living trust) is generally more expensive than the preparation of a basic will.
I assist clients in the preparation of living trusts (and revocable living trusts) and other estate planning documents.

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