As we reflect on Mother’s Day, we want to take the time to celebrate everything that mothers do for the world. While we give gifts to mothers on Mother’s Day, today we are looking at one of the best gifts a mother can give her children: a Revocable Living Trust. As a parent, one of the best things you can do is create a plan and structure for your kids if you’re not available. You can create peace of mind even when you are not available by creating a future-proof plan through Estate Planning.
Estate Planning is the process of working with a lawyer to create a legally-binding plan for what will happen to your property, money and belongings (your estate) and your minor children. It is especially important for parents of minor children, since Estate Planning allows you to nominate a guardian that you want to raise your kids if anything unexpected happens to you before they turn eighteen. It leaves the decision of who could end up raising your children to their actual parents and not the Washington state courts.
A way to support your chosen guardian is by creating a Revocable Living Trust. A Trust is a plan for you and your beneficiaries that you create while you are living that is managed by another party in the event of your incapacity or death and intended to be given to someone after your death. Unlike an estate directed by a Will, the assets and funds held in Trust are immediately available to be used for your children’s care upon your death or incapacity.
Some choose to have close family or friends manage their Trust for their minor children upon their death, while others opt for a bank or agency. Your appointed Trustee manages the funds for the benefit of your heirs. The Trust itself retains ownership. You can put in more than just money, too - entire bank accounts, homes, or life insurance policies can be placed in a Trust. With a Revocable Living Trust, you can choose to remove or change the trust assets as long as you are alive.
Another advantage of the Revocable Living Trust is that since the assets within it are owned by the Trust upon your death, they are not subject to probate. Probate court is the process where Washington state determines what happens to everything left behind in your name. Consequently, the assets in your Revocable Living Trust are excluded from probate. This means that your chosen guardian would have immediate access to the funds needed to help raise your children. Those funds would also be handled privately and not in public record as is the case with Wills.
Revocable Living Trusts are a great way of preparing for and supporting your family’s future. It is an ideal option for parents of young children to create a reliable structure for their family even if the worst should happen. It’s a way to give those mothers we adore so much a little peace of mind. For help with Estate Planning and creating a Revocable Living Trust, contact the Law Offices of Mackenzie Sorich, PLLC today. We are here to help!