The year 2016 will see an increase in the exemptions from estate death taxes to $5.45M per individual ($10.9M per couple). As a result, this leaves more of an estate to pass down to your inheritors, and more to consider in your inheritance plan.
While many think the best way to ensure a smooth passage of property may be a Will Plan, there is an alternative: a Revocable Living Trust.
A Will vs. a Revocable Living Trust
A will is a legal document that records your wishes regarding the distribution of your property and care of minor children upon your death. A revocable living trust is an estate planning tool that also determines who will inherit your property, but is called “revocable” because it can be changed as your circumstances or wishes change during your lifetime. It transfers your property to a trustee during your lifetime and aids in avoiding probate administration upon your death. While a revocable living trust may be the lead document in your estate plan, it should be accompanied by a will.
The Benefits of a Revocable Living Trust Plan
- 1. Revocable trust planning is not just about taxes and whether you owe them to the IRS when you die. A RTP is about privacy, which assets you pass through probate, and the management of assets located in more than one State (jurisdiction).
- 2. Revocable trust planning can provide a management tool for a person in ill health, or for someone who knows their health is declining and wants to avoid probate issues for his or her family later on.
- 3. Revocable trust planning can also provide an effective tool to management inheritance for children for the years until they are mature enough to manage for themselves what you’ve left behind. It also ensures that your estate does not end up in the hands of someone else through a child’s estate plan should the child inherit from you outright.
While a will is good, a revocable living trust plan can provide you with more options and more security. It’s worth looking into with your estate planning attorney.
Contact Your Attorney
At the Law Office of Patricia E. Tichenor, P.L.L.C., attorneys Patricia Tichenor and Camellia Safi specialize in family law and estate planning to assist people with family law issues. Call us today.