From Our “Ask a Question” Mailbag: “I want to avoid probate. How do I set up a revocable living trust in PA?”
How do I set up a revocable living trust in PA?
There are several steps in going about setting up your revocable living trust. This short article addresses those steps and then provides you a link to much more detailed information.
How do I make a living trust in Pennsylvania?
First, Do You Need a Revocable Trust?
Revocable Trusts are useful tools for many people. But, they are not a good fit for many other people. Use this tool only if it is helpful to you. Start your process by reviewing the pros and cons given your situation when considering my article, Revocable Living Trust: Everything You Need to Know.
Second, if a Revocable Trust is a Good Git for You, What Terms Are Needed During Your Lifetime?
Not everyone is the same. If you are healthy and expect to manage the trust yourself, then you will likely make yourself the sole trustee. But, if you have health issues, such as Alzheimer’s, you may need help. In these cases, use provisions giving trusted friends or family the right to manage the trust.
Third, What Terms Reflect Your Wishes At Death?
The Revocable Trust replaces your Will. Therefore, your trust terms must dictate your wishes. Do you want further protective trusts sheltering the assets from a greedy son-in-law? Are you planning Charitable Gifts? Should your trust spell out how your children will share a vacation home?
Put a great deal of thought into what happens after you die. Make sure the terms are well crafted to reflect your wishes and prevent conflict.
Fourth, Fund the Trust.
The Revocable Trust is useless if you put no assets into the trust. The Trustee only manages trust assets. And, anything left outside the trust might then require probate. If avoiding probate was your wish, not adequately funding the trust thwarts your goal.
For example, if you own a home, the deed must be changed to the trust. Proper deed processing requires drafting, signing, and filing with the county a new deed. If you do not, the deed is still in your name at death. Then, your family has to submit your will.
Fifth, Keep the Trust Up To Date.
How Do I Set Up a Revocable Living Trust in PA? You have to not only set it up, but you must also maintain your trust. Over time if you open new bank accounts, they must reflect the trust. If you buy new real estate, the deed must be in the trust’s name. Should your plan for gifting at death change, the trust terms must be updated.
For more detailed information about the Probate Process, see my Article, “Probate and Estate Administration: Everything You Need to Know.”
In Conclusion: How Do I Set Up a Revocable Living Trust in PA?
I hope you found helpful this short article addressing the question, How Do I Set Up a Revocable Living Trust in PA? I have also included some links for more detailed information. If you are curious about Probate, Estate Planning, or other various planning techniques, contact us. Let our Estate Planning lawyers help walk you through what can be a confusing process. In fact, feel free to contact our office for a free consultation.
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