There are thousands of possible variations when creating trusts.  There is no single example that could represent the versatility of using a trust for personal financial planning.  Revocable Living Trusts are flexible, you can change beneficiaries, alter any other instructions contained in the trust agreement or even cancel the trust should the arrangement ever cease to meet your needs.

People use living trusts in order to gain a variety of now-and-future advantages.  Some may be more important than others in terms of your own financial planning.  Let’s look at seven of the major advantages.

  1. Investment management.  In this era of rapid, often surprising economic change, the management of personal investment portfolios has become a relentlessly demanding job.  Securities take on new, often confusing forms.  The inflow of financial news, statistical data and market analyses has reached flood levels.  Tax laws keep changing.With a living trust, you can benefit from our professional, unbiased supervision.  It’s our business.  When we develop and maintain an investment program for you, our sole concern as trustee is to meet your requirements and protect your prosperity.

    You can arrange for us to shoulder full responsibility for investing your trust.  Or you may have us submit recommendations for your approval.

  2. Convenience.  You can make changes to your trust any time.  You can change instructions on what to do with your assets.  Change beneficiaries.  Cancel or revoke your living trust, if you choose.  And we’ll be there to help and guide you along the way.
  3. Future self-protection.  Medical science has made it possible for people to look forward to longer lives but still cannot promise us quality of life.  With a living trust, you can authorize us, or the person of your choosing, to act as your financial alter ego if you should ever become incapacitated.  That person would be able to handle your affairs such as paying household bills and taxes, and perhaps to hire a housekeeper or other necessary assistance for you.You may have observed, in your own circle of friends and relations, the financial and legal tangles that frequently arise when prolonged illness or infirmity makes it impossible for someone to cope with personal business.  A well-designed trust can reduce such problems significantly.
  4. Freedom to travel.  Our ability to serve as trustee to handle financial matters above and beyond the usual requirements of investment supervision also could prove useful to you if you look forward to traveling extensively.  People who roam the world can assign any number of special tasks here at home, ranging from payment of recurring bills to the preparation of their tax returns.
  5. Continuity.  As mentioned earlier, a living trust can continue beyond your lifetime for the benefit of others.  Not only can a living trust serve the same purposes as a trust you might otherwise establish by a will, but it also can do so without the delays associated with probate, thus assuring the beneficiaries you designate of an immediate source of income.  By contrast, a trust created by will cannot become fully functional until estate assets have been identified and assembled and various legal and tax requirements have been dealt with.
  6. Privacy.  A person’s will can remain private during his or her lifetime but necessarily becomes a matter of public record when probated.  This sometime leads to unwelcome results.  Details concerning how shares in a family business are distributed may prove all to useful to rival enterprises.  News that such-and-such a beneficiary is to receive a sizable bequest may make that beneficiary a target of investment promoters.  A living trust is far less likely to attract public attention.  The trust is established by private agreement and generally its terms remain confidential, shielding the family from unwanted publicity.
  7. Estate Economy.  This is perhaps the best-known advantage of a living trust from an estate planning standpoint: Because the trust need not undergo the proceedings associated with probate, the overall expenses associated with estate settlement are likely to be reduced.

To learn how a living trust could benefit you please call 1-800-279-9785 to schedule a free consultation with one of our Trust Officers.

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