If you are 18 or over and have a family in Minnesota, or if you own a home or a business in this state, it’s time to begin planning your estate with reliable guidance, insights, and advice from a Minneapolis revocable trust attorney.

Effective estate planning means making some decisions and putting those decisions in writing so that your instructions and wishes will be honored. Wills and trusts are the estate planning tools that will accomplish these goals for you effectively.

If you own real estate or other assets, a revocable trust that is properly written and funded ensures that your assets and properties are handled according to your wishes during your lifetime and transferred quickly to your beneficiaries at death without the involvement of the court system.

What Are Revocable Trusts?

If you are hoping your estate will be settled without the assistance of the court system, you should discuss the advantages of establishing a revocable trust (sometimes called a “living” trust) with a Minneapolis revocable trust lawyer.

In several respects, a revocable trust is comparable to a last will and testament. The most important advantage that a revocable trust provides is that anything you add to it (real estate, bank accounts, investments) are controlled by your private family trust agreement; your estate will not require an expensive or stressful probate proceeding to distribute these assets to your loved ones.

What Do Revocable Trusts Accomplish?

A common misconception is that if you write a will document, that document will avoid the probate court process. This is absolutely untrue; a will document is a court document that tells a judge what should happen to your things and who should be in charge. A will necessitates probate in order to work; wills are good because they control the probate process, rather than letting the default rules control.

Revocable trusts act as a will replacement. After your death, instead of probate, your revocable trust will be managed by the person you have named as your successor trustee – not by a probate judge who is a complete stranger.

Your successor trustee will see to it that your estate’s outstanding debts and taxes are paid and that your beneficiaries receive their inheritances without delay. When those obligations are fulfilled, your successor trustee will then work with your loved ones to close out your trust.

During your lifetime, you will be the trustee of your revocable trust, and you will be allowed to fund, manage, or change the trust as you please. A revocable trust also allows someone of your choosing to take over if you become incapacitated and are unable to manage your own financial affairs.

Why Is It Important to Avoid Probate?

The probate process in Minnesota takes months, and sometimes years. If your estate in Minnesota is complicated or extensive, the probate process could cost your beneficiaries tens of thousands of dollars. In some cases, the probate process triggers acrimonious family disputes. Additionally, it all happens in the public court system.

If you set up a revocable trust, however, your successor trustee – and not the probate court – handles the assets and properties in the trust after your death. You may choose your spouse, another close relative, or a professional trustee to act as your successor trustee.

What Are the Differences Between Revocable and Irrevocable Trusts?

You may amend, revise, add to, or dissolve a revocable trust at any time. With an irrevocable trust, once the trust has been funded and put into effect, you cannot make any changes to it.

One of the advantages of establishing an irrevocable trust is that it can reduce or avoid the estate tax that your beneficiaries may have to pay.

But everyone’s situation and circumstances are different, so before you make any decisions about establishing a revocable or irrevocable trust – or any other estate planning decisions – you should obtain personalized guidance and advice from a Minneapolis revocable trust attorney.

What Else Should You Know About Revocable Trusts?

A revocable trust offers significant asset protection advantages, but if someone chooses to dispute the trust, your successor trustee or your beneficiaries may need to have a Minneapolis revocable trust lawyer represent their interests.

The best way to prevent a legal dispute from emerging after your death is to prepare a revocable trust that is clearly and precisely written, compliant with the law, and enforceable by the courts in the event there was a challenge. The time to establish that revocable trust is now – while you are clearly “of sound mind.”

Why Will You Require an Attorney’s Help?

Why should you consult an attorney about establishing a trust when you can download the forms and do it yourself? Because setting up a trust is risky, complicated, and any mistakes you make will be costly.

Your attorney will also provide insights and alternatives that you may not have considered. Do not wait until life’s circumstances force you to create a will or a trust in an emergency situation. Preparing one of these documents in haste is never a wise step.

Creating an effective revocable trust takes careful, thoughtful consideration. Let a Minneapolis estate planning attorney help you – starting today – prepare a revocable trust that meets your needs and provides long-term financial security to those you love.