Facts about the Revocable-Living-Trust template

What is a Revocable Living Trust?

If you want to ensure that your assets pass on to your intended heirs and beneficiaries, consider using a revocable living trust as an estate planning tool. Called a living trust because a person creates such a trust while still alive, a revocable living trust holds and controls assets. The legal document requires a trustee to oversee the assets, but as the trust's creator, you can name yourself as the trustee. One unique feature of a revocable trust is that you can revoke or change your trust. You may also add or remove assets as you see fit.

General items included on the document include real estate property, trustee powers, and duties, backup trustees, pet or child trusts, and beneficiaries. Examples of assets often included in revocable living trusts include personal property, trust property, bank accounts, business interests, Certificates of Deposit, trust assets, and brokerage accounts.

Compared to other trusts and estate planning tools, you may prefer the flexibility that a revocable living trust document offers. Another advantage is that these trusts help avoid the probate process, which can drag on and result in hefty probate court and executor costs. You want your heirs to receive their inheritance as quickly as possible after your death, and a well-written revocable living trust helps accomplish that goal.

What is a Revocable Living Trust used for?

If you want to minimize confusion and potential feuding among your loved ones after your death, setting up a revocable living trust clarifies whom you want to receive your assets. It is better to create this document while in good health, to reduce the chances of anyone claiming that you were not of sound mind and body when establishing your estate plan. If you have relatives or children whom you specifically do not want to receive money, real estate property, or personal property from your estate, creating a living trust keeps them from inheriting your assets. Another use for a revocable living trust is naming another trustee to manage your estate administration if you fall ill.

Why should you use a Revocable Living Trust?

You could verbally express your desires regarding your estate, but like a verbal contract, a verbal revocable living trust does not hold up in court. Trusts protect you and your family, too. Even if you have a will, the document may not be adequate to safeguard your assets (and your loved ones) from probate. Wills are an essential part of the estate planning process, but you want to leave no room for misinterpretation, doubt or confusion regarding how you want to handle your personal property, money or real estate after your death. Further, establishing a living trust means your intended benefactors and heirs do not have to hire legal representatives to navigate probate.

How to write a Revocable Living Trust?

While revocable living trusts offer several benefits, you must take time to gather all necessary information while drafting the document to ensure a court can enforce it. Here are some major elements of a living trust:

  • Trustor/Grantor:

    The person who creates the trust

  • Trustee:

    The individual who manages assets in the trust, which can be the grantor

  • Co-trustee/co-grantor:

    Spouses who supervise and own a trust together, one assuming full control if the other dies

  • Successor trustee:

    The person the grantor names to take over control and ownership of the trust when the grantor dies or becomes mentally incapacitated

  • Beneficiaries:

    These are your children, spouse, pets, future children, organizations, and non-related loved ones you wish to inherit your assets

  • Assets:

    Besides the actual assets, include a description of your assets and their most-current value

  • Distribution:

    Specify whether you mind your heirs and beneficiaries taking loans from the trust, if you want to pay the trustee from your trust and how you want to distribute tangible assets such as motor vehicles or family heirlooms

  • Additional considerations:

    Define if you want your trustee to submit regular trust reports, if your trustee has the authority to invest assets and how you wish to distribute assets if a beneficiary cannot receive her or his with inheritance

How to Fill Out a Revocable Living Trust with PDFSimpli in Five Steps?

You may find it easier to use a template when creating your revocable living trust. Here are five steps to drafting the document:

  • 1. Preparation:

    Think about the most essential elements to include in your living trust. Before listing co-grantors or co-trustees, make sure that your candidates want to assume the role and the responsibility that comes with it. Double-check account numbers, asset valuation and similar information for accuracy.

  • 2. Selecting a Software:

    Do not use a standard word processor to create this legal document. Instead, rely on trusted software like PDFSimpli. Users have access to multiple revocable living trust templates, so you do not have to settle for something that is "good enough." The software saves you time and frustration, allowing you to finish your trust in a matter of minutes.

  • 3. Fill Out or Edit the Revocable Living Trust:

    Once you find a template that matches your needs, plug in your information. Pay close attention to named fields and placeholder information, as you want everything to be correct. The PDFSimpli online editor lets you edit the template until your trust is exactly as you would like it to be. Sign the document by uploading, typing or drawing your signature.

  • 4. Review:

    After signing your trust, give it a thorough review. Check that it meets your state's latest requirements for valid revocable living trusts, which may require consulting with a legal professional.

  • 5. Save, Download, Print or Send for Signature:

    You are ready to save your finished living trust and download it to your computer. You likely want to print out a copy for your records and your legal advocate. You may want to send extra copies to your beneficiaries and co-trustee/co-grantors or successor trustee. Have all necessary parties add their signature to the document, which you can do by sending them a copy of the trust you downloaded.

Revocable Living Trust Frequently Asked Questions

Grantors can easily modify a living trust if they wish to add assets to the trust or change beneficiaries. Once signed, a person cannot change an irrevocable living trust. After a revocable living trust grantor dies, the document shifts into an irrevocable living trust. One common reason for opting for an irrevocable trust is that assets in the fund receive financial protection because they no longer classify as personal assets.

Those with businesses, bonds, stocks, real estate and other significant assets make for ideal living trust candidates. If you do not have many assets, or if you have a standard estate plan, setting up a living trust may not make much sense. Instead, look into creating a last will and testament to ensure that your beneficiaries receive your assets.

You may feel that it is somewhat redundant to have a will if you already have a living trust. You should include both documents as part of your estate plan, because you still need to distribute assets you did not put into your trust. After creating your trust, you could neglect to include future property or another asset in it. If you have a will, you can set it up so that any assets not named in your trust go to a single beneficiary. Without a will, state laws dictate how to distribute anything not included in your trust, which you may not like.