Getting prepared for what will happen after you die can be a thought many people don’t want to consider, but it is necessary to make life easier for your loved ones and transferring your assets to beneficiaries. Failing to create a solid or straightforward will or trust can generate complications for those involved. Being prepared ensures your property and your family is taken care of when you are no longer able to look after them. Here are the basics to understanding a revocable living trust and the benefits they can provide.

What Is a Revocable Living Trust?

This simply refers to a document drawn up by you that states who will receive your assets after you have passed away. The term “revocable” is used because the trust can be altered and updated throughout your lifetime. As your life progresses and things change, you have the power to shuffle around how your assets will be transferred and to whom.

Why Is It Called “Living?”

It is a “living” trust because you are in charge of it while you are still alive and of sound mental capacity. The final trust will not be official until you are deceased.

What Is Included in a Revocable Living Trust?

Anything that can be passed onto relatives and friends can be included in your trust. This could be bank accounts, real estate and property, possessions, investments, stocks and more. It depends on each person and his or her financial situation.

Who Is Involved in This Kind of Trust?

The trustmaker is the person responsible for creating the trust, and the trustor/grantor is the person in charge of it. All of these refer to you, the person looking to pass on their assets once they die. A trustee is assigned to handle the affairs of the trust once you are no longer able to do so yourself or once you have passed on. Beneficiaries are anyone included who will receive something from the deceased.

Why Set up a Trust?

The main advantage of a revocable living trust is that it avoids probate where a will cannot. This can make the process of passing on your things easier and save money.

Is a Lawyer Necessary to Make a Trust?

This depends on the individual. If your situation is fairly simple, then you may not need one. However, if you are unclear about any of the laws surrounding trusts or how to set one up, talking to a trust lawyer can be a great way to ensure everything goes smoothly after your death.