Using a Revocable Living Trust to Avoid Probate

Although probate is beneficial for some estates, many people would like to avoid probate at all costs. For those who would like to avoid probate, a recent article discusses how a Revocable Living Trust (“RLT”) can help in this respect.

Probate is a court-supervised process through which the instructions in a deceased person’s will are carried out. Typically, the process of probate can go on from nine months to an entire year before it is completed. The process of probate includes publishing a notice to creditors, filing a petition for probate, and waiting for the court to authorize distribution of the assets.

A trust is similar to a will in that, through a trust, a person can designate how they would like their assets to be distributed to their beneficiaries. However, trusts do not go through probate. At the time of the trust creator’s death, the trust assets are automatically passed to the beneficiary. These assets never become part of the estate, and are therefore not subject to creditor claims.

RLTs are further desirable because they may be amended or revoked during the lifetime of the trust creator. Additionally, the creator could add or remove property from the trust, and withdraw principal from the trust as necessary.