By Libby Banks, the Law Office of Libby Banks, PLLC
People often ask me how much money or what the threshold net worth is before they need a Revocable Living Trust. There is no magic number. The factors that go into the decision include family situation, types of assets, location of real property, and, yes, net worth. The next question I’m asked is, “Why have a Trust?”
The Revocable Living Trust Gives Instructions if you are Incapacitated
Both a Will and a Trust contain instructions for distributing your assets after you die. However, a Trust also contains your instructions for managing your assets if you become incapacitated. The Trust allows a successor you have chosen to step into your shoes to pay your bills, manage your assets, sell property if needed, and generally handle your financial affairs. The Trust makes it easy for someone to step in to assist when you need help.
Without a Trust, We File for Conservatorship
Without a Trust, control over your finances may require a court proceeding known as a conservatorship. One attorney I know who does these proceedings called conservatorships “cumbersome.” They are also quite costly; far more than the cost of creating a Trust.
Money isn’t the only cost of conservatorship. Your family is asking the court to declare you incompetent. As you can imagine, this takes a huge emotional toll on everyone. It takes time too, both to have the proceeding, and to make accountings to the court according to its rigorous guidelines.
Lastly, the conservatorship is a very public affair. There are no locked doors in the courthouse on these. With a Trust, we maintain our privacy. We state in the Trust how and when it should be decided that we can no longer handle our affairs.
The Bottom Line
It is important to be sure someone can manage your affairs if you are incapacitated. The Trust is an ideal way to assure a smooth transition if you can no longer manage your affairs.
To learn more, schedule a consultation or review by calling the office at 602-375-6752, or by visiting LibbyBanks.com/schedule-estate-planning-meeting.