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Setting the record straight about revocable living trusts

Potential estate planners here in Palm Beach probably already know not to believe everything they hear or read. This applies to revocable living trusts as well. A lot of information out there regarding this useful document could mislead people into either avoiding it or using it when it would not best suit their interests and purposes.

For example, people should not be misled into believing that simply executing a trust means that the estate will not go through probate. A trust requires "funding" before any of an individual's assets receive protection from probate. Funding is the process by which assets such as accounts and real estate are transferred into the name of the trust. If the transfers are done properly, those assets avoid the probate process.

Revocable living trusts do not have to be convoluted and complicated in order to accomplish a Palm Beach resident's estate-planning goals. It is true that they must contain certain language in order to be valid, but that does not mean complex. They can protect and distribute a person's assets, protect him or her during incapacitation and avoid probate. The rest of the document helps ensure that it meets statutory requirements.

An estate-planning attorney could dispel other myths about revocable living trusts. Moreover, whether one could benefit a particular individual and family depends on several factors. Careful consideration to all of the relevant information is needed before making a decision regarding the usefulness of such a document for a particular person. It would be best to go into the process without any preconceived notions and to obtain answers from a reliable and experienced source.

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