This article concludes our series on how to use a revocable living trust as an estate planning tool in Oklahoma.  I chose this topic because there seems to be widespread confusion on the topic such as what a revocable trust entails, its advantages, limitations, distinctions from irrevocable trusts, and potential tax implications.  There are various types of trusts created for specific purposes, and a revocable living trust is one of them.  It is an estate planning tool created by the trust owner (the settlor), with instructions to a trustee on how to dispose of the estate asset upon the owner’s death, while still retaining control over the assets.  If used correctly it can be a powerful tool employed to avoid probate, protect privacy, and expedite asset transfer after your passing.

Estate planning is not only for the wealthy.  You can benefit from a revocable living trust irrespective of the estate size.  The primary goal is to ease the burden on grieving family members through efficient and quicker asset transfer upon your death.  Who doesn’t want that, right?  The topics discussed in this series are aimed to answer commonly asked questions and concerns.  However, every case is unique, and in a way estate planning is akin to tailored clothing – unique to each individual, with minor details making a significant difference.  This is why there is no substitute for a well-crafted estate plan prepared by a knowledgeable estate planning lawyer.  If you or a loved one is seeking to prepare a will, powers of attorney, advance directive, trust, or a comprehensive estate plan, we are here to help.  Please contact us online or by telephone to get in touch with an estate planning law firm and speak to a wills and trusts lawyer.

Some of the topics that we covered in this series are:

I chose these topics for several reasons.  Firstly, many people have heard the term revocable living trust thrown around often, but don’t have a clear understanding of what it entails.  My aim is to explain what it is and what isn’t.  The article takes a simple approach to educating a reader by explaining what it is and the necessary parties involved in its creation.

Secondly, the obvious question is what are the advantages afforded by a revocable living trust?  I wanted to educate the readers on its various advantages such as probate avoidance, privacy protection, and guardianship proceedings avoidance to name a few.  If used correctly it can serve as a powerful estate planning tool to efficiently transfer your assets to the heirs and beneficiaries.

Thirdly, just like anything else, there are many types of trusts – the purpose of each are specific to the creator’s goals.  But, we can broadly classify a living trust into two types: a revocable and an irrevocable living trust.  The main difference between them is the creator’s ability to cancel the trusts after their creation and the level of asset control they can retain.  The understanding of the difference allows the creator to select a proper estate planning tool.

Lastly, there seems to be a common misconception that one creates a revocable living trust for a multitude of tax benefits.  I wanted to clear the air that avoiding estate or other taxes is not the reason for creating one.  Sure there are other types of trusts that allow the trustor to transfer assets out from their estate effectively reducing the taxable estate.  However, a revocable living trust is not one of them.  I wanted to clarify this misconception and discuss general tax implications for someone who is thinking about creating a revocable living trust.

Another goal of this series is to provide you with enough information to help you find the right estate planning attorney to address your estate planning needs.  Whether you need assistance with a simple will, powers of attorney, trust, or a more comprehensive estate plan, we are here to help.  Let us help you memorialize your wishes and build a lasting legacy through a personalized estate plan that aligns with your goals.  Contact us today online or via telephone to get in touch with an estate planning law firm and speak to a wills and trusts attorney.  We proudly serve Oklahoma County, Cleveland County, Logan County, and Grady County.