A revocable living trust is an estate planning tool that allows you to transfer ownership of certain assets into a trust while maintaining control over them. When you create a living trust, you become the settlor. You must also name a trustee. With a revocable living trust, you can name yourself as trustee if you wish to manage the property in the trust during your lifetime.

You can also designate a successor trustee to take over the responsibilities after your death. Once you pass away, the successor trustee assumes the responsibility to handle, protect and distribute the trust assets.

Can I alter the trust?

One of the unique benefits of a revocable living trust is the fact that you can make changes to it or eliminate it at any time. The freedom to modify and withdraw the trust makes it an appealing estate planning method. But, upon your death, the trust becomes irrevocable.

Does it help me avoid probate?

 Another main advantage of placing assets in a trust is that they can avoid probate court proceedings. Probate can come with delays, expenses and privacy issues for your heirs. Passing certain assets through a trust allows you to avoid these probate drawbacks.

What are the requirements?

 Establishing a trust requires transferring property titles from your name to the trust entity. According to the Tennessee Uniform Trust Code, a written document is not always necessary for the creation of a trust. The state may recognize an oral trust if there is clear and convincing evidence of your intent to create the trust. There must not be any duress, fraud or undue influence during the creation process.

This is educational information only and does not constitute legal advice.