Slide background

9 Questions Everyone Has About Revocable Living Trusts

1. What is a revocable living trust (“RLT”)?

An RLT is a powerful estate planning method that gives you complete control over your assets both during your life, and after. It is a legal entity that holds property for you and others.

2. If I die leaving only a Will, how will my estate be settled?

In Virginia, as in nearly all states, if you have a Will, without an RLT, the executor of your Will must file your Will with the probate division of the clerk’s office, file requisite forms and accountings, pay taxes on your estate, and distribute your assets to your beneficiaries. Probate costs, including attorney’s fees, court costs, appraisal costs, etc. can range between 5% to 10% of the value of the estate.

Also, the probate process is a matter of public record. This means that anyone, for any reason, can go to the clerk’s office and look at your probate records to see a list of assets, liabilities, and heirs.

3. What are the advantages of having an RLT?

An RLT allows you to have full use, enjoyment, and control over your property during your lifetime and still gives you the control to determine what happens to your estate once you pass away.

It is more difficult for your beneficiaries (or would-be beneficiaries) to challenge the decisions you make in your RLT, compared to a Will.

The RLT will also avoid probate so, the Trust can directly distribute assets to your loved ones. Your privacy is also protected by avoiding probate.

Your RLT can also help shelter your loved ones from taxes.

4. Are there disadvantages to an RLT?

As with all of your estate planning documents, you should frequently review them to ensure no changes are necessary (changes in named parties, changes in assets, etc.).

There may also be costs associated with transferring property into the name of the RLT for your existing assets (for example the cost of filing the deed with the clerk’s office). Good estate planning law firms will include such transfers in their services.

5. What property can I put into my RLT?

An RLT can hold bank accounts, life insurance proceeds, stocks, bonds, real estate, and personal property.

You may list your property in the schedule attached to your RLT. When the property’s status changes – such as when you sell your home or close out an account – it is appropriate to make a note next to the item on the schedule, include the date and what happened.

6. If I make an RLT, do I still need a Will?

Yes. The Will is important to ensure that any property you’ve left out of the RLT is “poured over” into your RLT once you pass away. If the assets outside of your Trust are less than a certain amount, your loved ones can still avoid probate when you pass away. A Will also enables you to name a guardian for your children.

7. What do I do after I set up my RLT?

When you set up your RLT, you can begin naming your assets in the Trust using the Trust schedule. If you are transferring title to the RLT, you will need to contact each institution to fill out the proper paperwork to change the title or beneficiaries of your property. You can do this for bank accounts, stocks, and insurance, for example. As for your real estates, new deeds have to be prepared and filed with appropriate local department of land records. A good estate planning law firm will do all of this for you.

You should also notify the Successor Trustee named in your RLT to advise that person of the Trust and their role in it. Also make sure you tell them where the original document is stored.

8. Where should I keep the RLT documents?

You should keep the original RLT in a fireproof file box or safe. Do NOT keep it in a safety deposit box at a bank because a safety deposit box is often inaccessible upon your death.

9. How can I create, change or revoke my RLT?

You can amend or revoke your RLT at any time, however bear in mind that changes must be done with the same level of formality (including signing process) as the draft of your original trust. Please contact PJI Law at (703) 865-6100 or trusts@pjilaw.com and we will be happy to work with you to update your Trust – or to create one, if you don’t already have one.

 

PJI Law, PLC PJI Law, PLC
May 17, 2021,
We had a wonderful experience. Very professional. Everything was done quickly. They answered all que...
Google
PJI Law, PLC PJI Law, PLC
May 17, 2021,
PJI Law was very helpful with our estate planning. They were very informative and easy to work with....
Facebook
PJI Law, PLC PJI Law, PLC
May 16, 2021,
My wife and I have been very pleased with everyone at PJI Law.
Google
PJI Law, PLC PJI Law, PLC
May 14, 2021,
PJI is awesome. They created an incredibly thorough estate plan for me, and they thought of everythi...
Google
PJI Law, PLC PJI Law, PLC
May 14, 2021,
I have used this law firm for both business (corporate law) issues and for estate planning for 2 mem...
Google
PJI Law, PLC PJI Law, PLC
Apr 19, 2021,
I reached out to them regarding a home buying situation I was in. The matter was resolved right befo...
Google
PJI Law, PLC PJI Law, PLC
Apr 13, 2021,
For several years we had been thinking about hiring a law firm to set up an estate plan, and attende...
Google
PJI Law, PLC PJI Law, PLC
Apr 5, 2021,
We are extremely pleased with the legal services provided by PJI Law. They listened to our concerns ...
Facebook
PJI Law, PLC PJI Law, PLC
Apr 5, 2021,
The PJI Law group are the quintessential professional group we have ever used to help us in legal is...
Google
PJI Law, PLC PJI Law, PLC
Apr 1, 2021,
My wife & I had put off a very important project for years in creating and funding a Living Trust, p...
Google
PJI Law, PLC PJI Law, PLC
Apr 1, 2021,
My husband & I had put off a very important project for years in creating and funding a Living Trust...
Facebook
PJI Law, PLC PJI Law, PLC
Mar 31, 2021,
My husband and I are very fortunate to have found PJI Law Firm, PLC when we were looking for profess...
Facebook
PJI Law, PLC PJI Law, PLC
Mar 25, 2021,
Great firm to work with – I highly recommend them! Appreciated the knowledge and professionalism of...
Google
PJI Law, PLC PJI Law, PLC
Mar 23, 2021,
Every bit of our experience with PJI Law was white glove. Extremely courteous, responsive, knowledga...
Google
PJI Law, PLC PJI Law, PLC
Feb 28, 2021,
They just did my estate plan and I am very happy with their service. They were very thorough and de...
Google
PJI Law, PLC PJI Law, PLC
Feb 10, 2021,
Google
PJI Law, PLC PJI Law, PLC
Feb 5, 2021,
My experience with PJI Law and its staff was excellent! No matter how big or small your case is they...
Facebook
PJI Law, PLC PJI Law, PLC
Feb 4, 2021,
February 4, 2021 PJ Law is a wonderful law firm with a caring and knowledgeable staff. Attorney Phi...
Google
PJI Law, PLC PJI Law, PLC
Feb 4, 2021,
February 4, 2021 PJ Law is a wonderful law firm with a caring and knowledgeable staff. Attorney Ph...
Facebook
PJI Law, PLC PJI Law, PLC
Jan 31, 2021,
I had an opportunity to work with Paul Abraham regarding preparation of operating agreement and othe...
Google
PJI Law, PLC PJI Law, PLC
Jan 26, 2021,
I Highly recommend this firm. They have assisted me with several needs, both with my business and pe...
Google
PJI Law, PLC PJI Law, PLC
Jan 23, 2021,
I have had a wonderful experience with PJI Law. Mr. Phillips prepared my estate trust and Mr. Jaros...
Google
PJI Law, PLC PJI Law, PLC
Jan 20, 2021,
I am completely satisfied with the service I received from the professionals at PJI Law. I went in n...
Google
PJI Law, PLC PJI Law, PLC
Jan 20, 2021,
My wife and I went to PJI Law to prepare our estate plan and were very pleased with the service we r...
Google
PJI Law, PLC PJI Law, PLC
Jan 20, 2021,
I highly recommend PJI Law and their staff. They were able to assist my and my law firm with an appl...
Google
PJI Law, PLC PJI Law, PLC
Jan 7, 2021,
I loved working with the entire team at PJI Law! My husband and I were able to get our documents in ...
Google
PJI Law, PLC PJI Law, PLC
Jan 4, 2021,
Google
PJI Law, PLC PJI Law, PLC
Dec 16, 2020,
Google
PJI Law, PLC PJI Law, PLC
Dec 10, 2020,
Google
PJI Law, PLC PJI Law, PLC
Nov 30, 2020,
PJI Law, and all its staff were professional, courteous and empathetic when dealing with a delicate ...
Google
PJI Law, PLC PJI Law, PLC