At Wiley Etter, LLC, we strive to educate our clients so that they completely understand their customized estate plan. Learning about your estate plan is so important we insist that you learn as much as possible about your documents.
We have created an information center to assist with learning more about estate planning and to explain unfamiliar legal terms. Below you will find information on the basic estate planning tools available to you.
While a Last Will and Testament speaks only at death a Revocable Living Trust is valid from the moment it is signed. This Trust or Contract can be amended or revoked at any time. This essentially means that like a will you change your mind as many times as you want as long as you are alive. At your death the trust becomes irrevocable and can no longer be changed.
There are several advantages to a Revocable Living Trust over a Last Will and Testament:
First a Revocable Living Trust is a private document. After your death it will not be released to the public whereas a Last Will and Testament is available to anyone who requests it.
Second since a revocable Living Trust speaks during life it can be designed to protect you in the event you become disabled. A well drafted trust will have guidelines on how to care for you and how to spend your money in the event you become incapacitated. That’s right this trust can actually help you during your life!
Third, if all of your assets are owned by your Revocable Living Trust at your death then the probate process is much quicker. Unfortunately you will still have to pay the probate fee but generally attorney fees and time of probate are drastically reduced.
Fourth, a Revocable Living Trust can be designed to provide Asset protection for your loved ones after you die. A properly designed trust can protect the trust funds in the event a beneficiary runs into financial distress caused by bankruptcy, divorce, or liability in a car accident. This is the reason most of our clients elect for a Revocable Trust Plan.