Trusts & Wills

Revocable Trust:

A Revocable Trust is not difficult to create and maintain and can easily be changed.  The trust maker retains complete control. There is no need to have a separate tax identification number as you use your own social security number.   The trust allows you to have ONE receptacle for all your property. The trust is a completely private document.

Will:

You probably already know that, in a will, you name whom you want to handle your final affairs and whom you want to receive your assets after you die.

But did you know that your will only controls the assets that are titled in your name? Your will does not control assets that are titled in joint ownership and go to your spouse or another joint owner when you die. And it doesn't control assets with beneficiary designations, like your IRA, retirement benefits or life insurance policies.

So, your will does not give you control over all of your assets.

What about the assets your will does control? After you die, these assets will have to go through a court-controlled process called "probate."

Revocable Living Trust vs. will

In both, you name someone to handle your affairs after you die. In a will, this person is called an executor, an administrator. or in Maine a Personal Representative; In a living trust, this person is called a trustee.

Unlike a will, a living trust avoids probate when you die, and can control all of your assets and prevents the court from controlling your assets at incapacity.

When you set up a living trust, you transfer assets from your name to the name of your trust. This is called "funding" your living trust

Property titled in living trust avoids probate

When you change the titles of your assets from your name to your trust, YOU no longer own anything. So, when you die, or if you become incapacitated, there is nothing for the courts to control.

The concept is very simple, but this is what keeps you and your family out of probate.

You still have full control of the assets in your trust. As trustee of your trust, you can do anything with your assets that you could do before you put them in your trust.

You can buy and sell assets, change your trust or even cancel it -- that's why it's called a REVOCABLE living trust.

You even file the same tax returns. NOTHING CHANGES -- except the names on the titles.

Plus, your trust contains your written instructions for what you want to happen to your assets if you become incapacitated and when you die.

In fact, you'll actually have MORE control with your assets in a living trust than you do now.

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