2020 and 2021 brought uncertainty and had us living in unchartered territories. It is no wonder that according to a study by caring.com, the number of 18-34 year olds with estate planning documents has increased by 50% since the pandemic began. We are all looking for stability in our current lives and protection for the future. This is why more Americans have realized that planning ahead doesn’t need to start at the age of 65.
The pandemic has caused an increased awareness of estate planning needs, including wills and trusts. It is never too early to plan for your future, regardless of which life chapter you’re currently travelingthrough. There is a common misconception that you must be a high-net-worth individual with a house in the French Alps, priceless art, and own a racehorse to need an estate plan. Another misconception is that planning is only for the elderly. This could not be further from the truth! Everyone, no matter their age or assets, can benefit from having an estate plan.
There are many different types of estate planning documents, but one that is often overlooked is the Revocable Living Trust or RLT.
What is a Revocable Living Trust?
An RLT is a type of trust that can be changed at any time while the grantor is living. You might be thinking that you don’t have assets to protect or a family and spouse to worry about so why would you want to create an RLT? Here are some of the benefits of creating a Revocable Living Trust before you die even if you don’t have assets or dependents.
I repeat, a Revocable Living Trust is not part of public record. This helps to keep your personal life private and out of probate known as the legal process of distributing assets of a will. You decide where and how your personal property is distributed. This is something that should remain private and personal.
Although we may be guilty of posting on Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn once in a while, you would never think of posting your financial details for all to see. Why would you want to allow your personal effects to be a part of public record? Creating a RLT gives you the capability and flexibility of keeping your life private.
Revocable Living Trusts allow you to make changes throughout the years. Unlike an Irrevocable Living Trust, RLT’s give you all the flexibility to make changes as your life changes. Flexibility is key when planning early and throughout your life. In an RLT, trustees and beneficiaries can be changed. You can make as many changes as you want throughout the years.
Life is complicated enough while you are living to be able to explain what you want to happen for your children and/or spouse’s future. The more hands added to the mix, the more complicated it can get. Now, add in the courts and it will layer on time as well as muddy up the mix. An RLT allows you to appoint who you want to take care of your estate. This helps relieve copious amounts of stress for the trustee and the grantor as well as those that are affected.
If you unexpectedly die without a will or a plan the state of Florida will “help” appoint what is best for your estate according to the courts. This is known as dying intestate. Typically, the court tries to ensure that the estate stays in the immediate family and then moves on to the extended family. If the family can’t be contacted, it will then go back to the state.
Surely, you would rather have control over who, how, what, and when your estate is decided. The courts will do what they feel is best for your estate, but it might not be what you intended. Keep yourself and your family in control of your present and future by creating a plan.
“Life is a journey not a race to the finish line” – by Anonymous
Leave your family less stressed and thwarted when you are gone by providing a step-by-step guide. Irrespective of whether you are 24, 44, or 74 it is not too late to start planning for your future. Click here to find out what is the best next step for you and your family. Remember, that life is a journey not a race to the finish line. Enjoy the ride with Yolofsky Law!