An Overview of Revocable Living Trusts in Colorado
Few people want to spend much time thinking about what will happen to their property after they die. However, without thorough and effective planning, individuals may inadvertently place undue hardships on their families and other beneficiaries.
Complicated laws, excess tax burdens, and uncertainty over which properties should pass to whom can create challenges and costs. A revocable living trust can ease these burdens and help property owners and their families focus on more important matters.
What Is a Revocable Living Trust?
It is an estate planning tool that helps property owners transfer their possessions after death. The trust is a written statement that provides clear instructions for the management, distribution, and ownership of property, should the trust maker, called the grantor, become mentally incapacitated or pass away. It is considered “revocable” because the grantor retains the ability to amend the trust to reflect changing circumstances or decisions during their lifetime.
The stakeholders can include:
- Grantor / Trust Maker. The property owner who creates the trust.
- Trustee. The individual responsible for managing the trust property. Until he or she dies or becomes incapacitated, the grantor typically acts as the trustee.
- Successor Trustee. When the original trustee passes away or can no longer serve in this role, the successor steps in to manage the trust.
- Beneficiary. The trust establishes this person as the one who will receive the property after the death or incapacitation of the grantor.
What Happens to My Property If I Don’t Establish a Revocable Living Trust?
Revocable living trusts provide significant protection for individuals and their families in the case of their death or incapacitation. Under Colorado estate laws, properties typically go into probate after the deaths of their owners, potentially leading to complicated legal cases and considerable expenses for the beneficiaries.
A carefully crafted revocable living trust can help circumnavigate the probate process. Wills are subject to court involvement, and they become part of the public record; revocable living trusts, however, allow grantors to distribute their property privately.
How Do I Set Up a Revocable Living Trust?
Colorado property owners generally enlist the help of an experienced and qualified estate planning attorney. A lawyer can carefully examine your circumstances and ensure that your trust is effectively written, funded, and executed.
At Mile High Estate Planning, we take pride in helping our clients create strong trusts to set their minds at ease and facilitate transitions for their beneficiaries. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.