Living Trusts – Revocable vs. Irrevocable

Living Trusts

Career paralegal Victor Pantaleoni is well-versed in all aspects of trust administration and estate planning. Based in California, Victor Pantaleoni is a sought-after conference and keynote speaker on living trusts.

A living trust is created while an individual is still living, hence the name, primarily as a way to avoid probate. The trustee (owner) places most or all of his or her assets in the trust, yet continues to use them throughout life. After death, the assets are distributed to the designated beneficiaries.

A revocable living trust, allows the trustee to later add or remove assets or revoke the trust altogether. The benefits of a revocable trust include a quick distribution of assets, privacy (unlike a will, the provisions of a trust are private), and, in the case of future incapacity, the ability to choose a guardian without involving the court system.

An irrevocable trust, by comparison, cannot be revoked, nor can any property or asset placed in it be removed. For this reason, the assets are not included in the value of an estate, potentially saving the cost of estate taxes for the beneficiaries.

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