As the name implies, a revocable trust can be changed or revoked. This is an important consideration for many Florida residents who are in the process of creating estate plans. The grantor, or creator, of a revocable trust can maintain control over all the trust assets in his or her lifetime. Only at the time of the grantor’s death does the revocable trust then become irrevocable with the distribution of estate assets to named beneficiaries.
Of course, accomplishing the goal of transferring property to intended beneficiaries upon passing is an essential goal of estate planning, and a revocable trust can do so in a manner that is preferential to a will. Although a will can legally name the beneficiaries to receive the property, probate will be necessary to transfer a legal title from the deceased person to the heirs. Legal experts explain that is not the case with a trust.
When a revocable trust is created, property is moved to the trust, which thereafter becomes the legal owner of the property. Upon the grantor’s death, the trust assets are distributed with no transfer of title necessary and therefore no necessity for probate. The avoidance of probate saves the estate from having to spend resources on court proceedings and attorney fees. In addition, probate can be time-consuming, and heirs do not have access to the distribution while it is ongoing.
An experienced estate planning lawyer can provide counsel on other strategies to avoid probate, such as pay-on-death provisions for monetary accounts and joint tenancy. With help from legal counsel, an estate owner could maintain control over their assets and fulfill end-of-life wishes.