While the advantages of a revocable living trust receive most of the public attention, the disadvantages should also be considered. Since a revocable living trust is a more complex legal document, it is often more costly to establish. Also, deeds and other transfer documents must be prepared transferring the grantor`s assets to the trust, a process which can require a substantial investment of the grantor`s time. The use of a revocable living trust requires more ongoing monitoring to ensure that assets remain in the trust and that newly purchased assets are titled in the trust. For instance, a grantor who transfers funds to a second financial institution (perhaps to obtain a better interest rate) must remember to advise the new institution to title the new account in the trust. After the grantor`s death, some of the income tax rules applicable to a trust are not as liberal as those available to a probate estate. For example, a probate estate may elect to use a fiscal year as its tax year, while a trust is restricted to the calendar year. Trusts must pay estimated income tax payments while a probate estate is exempt from this requirement for the first two years. Trusts are also subject to other tax rules that do not apply to probate estates.
This article is intended to be helpful and informative. But even common legal matters can become complex and stressful. A qualified estate planning lawyer can address your particular legal needs, explain the law, and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact a local estate planning attorney to discuss your specific legal situation.