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Living trusts can be established so that they are revocable or irrevocable. When either type of living trust documents are created, assets are transferred from an individual's name, referred to as the grantor, to the trust. The grantor no longer owns the assets once this happens; instead title lies with the trust. When an individual creates a living trust, the grantor names an individual to serve as trustee over the trust. The trustee can be the grantor him or herself, or another individual.
With a revocable living trust, the grantor has the right to invalidate the trust at any time. When a grantor exercises this right, title to the property of the trust is returned to his or her name. Grantors of revocable trust may choose to alter the terms and provisions of the trust at any time.
An irrevocable living trust is one that cannot be revoked. Once assets are transferred to a an irrevocable living trust, the grantor gives up the rights to take back the assets and to alter any of the stipulated terms or provisions. These types of trusts are often used to set up educational trust funds for minors. They can also be utilized for property settlements resulting from a divorce or other legal action.
There are many important considerations when beginning the estate planning process. Each person's family financial situation is different, and estate planning needs may be more complex for some individuals than others. Everyone needs to make sure that their estate planning includes at least the most fundamental elements of a sound estate plan.
10 Basic Estate Planning Tips:
Regardless of your financial or family situation, trust and estate planning is a very important component of fiscal and personal responsibility. Many people associate estate planning with deciding how your assets will be divided in the event of your death. However, estate planning involves much more than drafting a Last Will and Testament.
It is certainly a good idea to have a Last Will and Testament for the purposes of clearly establishing your wishes regarding property division. However, estate planning should also involve naming someone to make medical and/or financial decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. Another important component of estate planning is documenting your wishes regarding medical interventions if you ever become terminally ill or permanently incapacitated.
The following estate planning documents are important parts of any estate planning checklist:
|Sheri Ann Richerson|