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The Revocable Trust: A Popular Alternative to the Traditional Will

Posted on in Estate Planning

revocable trust, Illinois estate planning attorneyThe American Association of Retired People, or AARP, has been instrumental in serving as an informative advocate for those near retirement age since 1958. The brainchild of retired high school principal, Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus, AARP was organized to promote a productive aging philosophy by keeping those broaching retirement abreast of emerging trends and practices. In fact, an AARP bulletin recently discussed the growing trend of choosing a revocable trust over a will.

To determine whether a trust or a will is in one's best interest, the first step is to speak with both an experienced estate planning attorney and trusted financial advisor. However, before consulting with either professional, AARP offers the following information as to why establishing a revocable trust may work for you.

What Exactly is a Revocable Trust?

A revocable trust is a written document, establishing an appointed family member or friend who will be fully responsible for managing one's property and assets. As a "living" document, a revocable trust is drafted while the creator is still alive and remains revocable as long as the creator is mentally competent. Moreover, the creator has the right to discontinue the directives at anytime.

In death, however, the document becomes an irrevocable trust—the terms generally can not be changed or disputed in probate court. This type of trust involves three parties: the creator, the trustee or trustees who are in agreement to follow through on the creator's directives, and the beneficiaries. Importantly, AARP notes, "You will probably want to name yourself and your spouse as trustees, because you want full control of the property while you're alive."

Although both a will and trust pertain to a person's inheritance directives, the revocable trust is gaining popularity because of the desire for privacy and avoiding the traditional terrors and transparency of the probate process. Also, for those who select this option, a trust offers the benefit of declaring specific directives before and following death.

Consult an Experienced Illinois Estate Planning Attorney

Working with an established estate planing attorney to devise a revocable trust can bring solace to both the creator and his or her family without the high cost of probate. Additionally, a well-drafted trust can serve as power of attorney, leaving open the directives of how all assets will be distributed. Tax savings clauses can also reduce state and federal estate taxes.

If you are ready to discuss the establishment of your will or revocable trust, the qualified Wheaton, Illinois estate planning attorneys of Stock, Carlson & Asso. LLC are standing by to discuss your estate directives when you are ready. Contact us at 630-665-2500 today.

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