You might know numerous people in Texas who have already signed wills or other legal documents to protect their assets or to list instructions for their loved ones regarding end-of-life issues. If you were to compare their portfolios, you would undoubtedly find certain similarities, but, also, unique features, as well. For instance, perhaps each of your friends has signed a last will and testament as part of the estate planning process, while not every individual may have placed assets in a trust.
If you are considering adding a trust to your estate plan, it’s good to learn more about which types of assets are best suited for the purpose. There are benefits and downsides to forming a trust. You can consider all factors, then determine whether a revocable trust would help you accomplish your estate planning goals.
A revocable trust is a living trust
You may have heard these two terms used interchangeably. Many people refer to a revocable trust as a living trust because an estate owner can make changes to this type of trust, at any time, if he or she is of sound mind and amends the trust in accordance with all laws that are relevant to the issue. The following list includes types of assets that you can place in a living trust:
- Tangible property, such as jewelry, vehicles, firearms, family heirlooms, animals and more.
- Money owed to you for a personal loan
- Gas, oil or mineral rights
- Business interests
- Real estate
When you place assets in a revocable trust, you must designate a trustee to manage the trust. You can also include stipulations at will, such as instructions stating that a particular asset is to remain in trust until the person set to receive it reaches a certain age. You can also control how to use an asset or money, such as stating that specific funds are for a grandchild’s college education.
Why it’s still a good idea to have a will if you already have a revocable trust
A revocable trust is a useful estate planning tool. However, it is still wise to incorporate a last will and testament alongside a trust for several reasons. You might want to designate a power of attorney in your will or transfer a particular asset, such as your house, through a will instead of a trust.
The estate planning process is customizable, which means that you can add or omit any documents you choose, so that your overall plan fits your specific needs and goals.