Berman & Asbel, LLP

The benefits of a revocable trust

Many Pennsylvania fans of the late Robin Williams may have heard that the actor had set up a solid estate plan for his family. By creating a revocable trust, Williams ensured that the details of his estate would remain private and avoided using a will that would get tied up in California probate court.

Privacy is one advantage of a revocable trust in lieu of a will, and this may be important to anyone who is a public figure. While a will in probate is a public document, a revocable trust is not. However, there are several other reasons a revocable trust might be a better estate planning tool than a will in some circumstances even for people who are neither extremely wealthy nor celebrities.

A revocable trust can be useful for individuals who want more control over their assets. Individuals who have minor children or dependents with mental or physical disabilities that would prevent them from managing their money effectively can use a revocable trust with advisers as trustees to handle the financial situation. The children do not have to be minors, and some individuals may prefer their heirs are married or a certain age before coming into their full inheritance.

A revocable trust can be particularly useful in a complex situation where, like Robin Williams, there have been several marriages and children from those marriages. Such an instrument may be easier to amend when and as needed. A common error with trusts is failing to transfer assets into those vehicles. Working with an attorney may help to ensure that whether a trust or a will is used in estate planning, the needed documentation is in place.

Source: Daily Finance, "Robin Williams' Estate Plan Spares His Heirs a Lot of Drama", Dan Caplinger, August 14, 2014

Source: Daily Finance, "Robin Williams' Estate Plan Spares His Heirs a Lot of Drama", Dan Caplinger, August 14, 2014

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