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There is nothing more valuable than peace of mind when going into your later years of life. Part of that is knowing that your hard-earned life savings, property and investments will seamlessly transition to your family and named beneficiaries according to your wishes at the time of your passing.

A legal challenge from a disgruntled family member or greedy beneficiary could be devastating for the rest of your family at a time when they will be coping with your loss.

It’s best to protect your estate from challenges, or contestability, through proper estate planning, and a Revocable Trust could be the solution.

A Revocable Trust Agreement, or Living Trust, is a legal agreement that places assets of your choosing into a “trust,” during your lifetime. While you monitor your assets during life, at death your hand-picked trustee holds or manages trust assets for the benefit of your family and beneficiaries. Your trustee will take these assets under the terms you set and transfer them according to your instructions at the time of your death.

This presents a number of advantages, with one of the biggest being the avoidance of the probate court. Probate is the court-supervised process of distributing assets contained in a last will and testament after any creditors are paid. Under probate law, wills are made public and can be contested.

A major consideration of probate is a loss of control. Since a judge, attorneys and the probate court system are all involved, you lose control. The risk of an unfavorable legal decision and emotional distress for your family increases.

Additionally, you lose control of your privacy. As shared above, since probate proceedings are public record, anyone can search probate proceedings and learn more about your private affairs – which in turn could provide fodder for legal disputes.

Many families also contend with sensitive dynamics. Surviving heirs may deal with medical conditions, disabilities, or struggle with alcohol and drug addiction. Even if such scenarios are understood within the family, it’s not worth subjecting them to public scrutiny.

With a Revocable Trust, you are in control. There may be certain items to settle after your passing, but your trustee will be in the driver’s seat and can work alongside the trust administration attorney. Does this article raise more questions than it answers for you? Do not wait to contact us with any of your estate planning, probate and trust administration questions.