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Revocable Trust

By holding assets in a revocable trust instead of owning assets in your individual name, you can avoid the court’s involvement in your affairs. When you own assets in your own name rather than in a revocable trust, in the event of your disability or death, a probate court must oversee the administration of your affairs. The procedures in the probate court are public, time consuming and can be expensive. “Revocable” means that you can change or even revoke the trust during your lifetime so that it always represents your wishes.

Once you establish a revocable trust, you may serve as trustee of your revocable trust and control and manage the assets.

In the event you become disabled, the successor trustee you designate will manage the trust. Without a revocable trust in place, if you were to become disabled, the court would appoint someone to manage your affairs.

At your passing, a revocable trust works like a will in that you state where you want your assets to go. Additionally, a revocable trust can easily be updated throughout your lifetime and avoids probate.

Additionally, in some states, including Missouri, a married couple may receive heightened creditor protection for assets held in a specially designed joint trust. This enhanced creditor protection makes a revocable trust an essential component of most married couples’ plans.

If you choose to create a revocable trust, you will still need a “pour-over will” in the event you own assets that are not held by your revocable trust at your death. The pour-over will instructs the probate court to pour those assets not held by your revocable trust over to the trust to be governed by its terms.

Inkwell’s Funding Program is designed to ensure that your assets are properly transferred to your revocable trust, so that at your passing, you do not own any assets that would be subject to probate.

Click here to learn more about Inkwell’s Funding Program.  

Inkwell’s Maintenance Program is designed in part to ensure that any assets you acquire in the future are properly incorporated into your plan.

Click here to learn more about Inkwell’s Maintenance Program.  

Do I need one?

It depends. During your design session, your Inkwell attorney can discuss the various factors you should consider in deciding if you need a revocable trust or simply a will plan. These factors include the size of your estate, creditor protection issues, if you have minor children, and if you can avoid probate using a different strategy.

What happens if I don't have one?

Depending on your family situation and the types of assets you own, your estate may have to go through probate, resulting in unnecessary expense, paperwork, and delay for your loved ones.

When is the document effective?

A revocable trust is effective both during your lifetime and establishes what happens with your assets in the event you become unable to manage the affairs of the trust yourself, and upon your death to say where the assets of the trust go then.

Example of When You Would Need
this Document Per Life Stage

Adulthood

Unless your child has significant assets at a young age, it is unlikely that your child will need to have a revocable trust as part of their plan.

Married

Harry and Sally are married and they establish a joint revocable trust. Harry is involved in a car accident for which he is at fault. The assets in the trust should be protected from any claims because they are only subject to claims against both spouses, not just one. Additionally, when Harry dies, Sally will have immediate access to the trust assets and will not need court oversight because those assets will not need to go through the probate process.

With Kids

As with a will, a revocable trust is a necessity for any parent with minor children. Without a revocable trust, assets left for your children will need to go through probate, which is costly and reduces the amount left to your children. Additionally, assets will need to be given to your children no later than 21 years of age, whether they are ready to manage finances or not. If assets are held inside a revocable trust, those assets will not have to go through probate and will be immediately available for your children’s well-being. At your death, more money will go to your children and less will go to lawyers and the court system.

Moving

States have different default rules that govern how trusts work.  It’s a good idea to have an attorney licensed in your new home state review any existing revocable trust to ensure your trust will operate the way you intend under the laws of your new home state.

Solo

A revocable trust can help you avoid probate and efficiently pass your assets to younger generations without court oversight. However, depending on your assets and your intended beneficiaries, your plan may only require a simple will. Inkwell can discuss your individual situation and explain the advantages and disadvantages of either a will-based plan or one that includes a revocable trust.

Unless your child has significant assets at a young age, it is unlikely that your child will need to have a revocable trust as part of their plan.

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