Is Your Revocable Trust Going to Protect You from Probate? Maybe…

As you begin thinking about how to prepare for your future, one of the things you’re likely to consider is how to ensure that your estate is handled according to your wishes after you’re gone. One legal tool many people believe can help with that is a revocable trust. The question, however, is whether a revocable trust is all it’s cracked up to be when it comes to protection from the expensive process of probate.

Are you unsure if your revocable trust really protects you from having to go through the probate process in the event of a death? You’re not alone. For many people, Probate can seem like an intimidating process as it is full of complex paperwork and costly court fees. That’s why so many people opt for a revocable trust as a way to avoid having to go through the probate process upon their passing—but will it really protect them? Here at Desert Law Group, we understand your concerns and are here to provide some clarity into how exactly revocable trusts work with regards to protecting beneficiaries in the event of a death. Keep reading our blog post to learn more about how a revocable trust may be able to help protect you against potentially lengthy and expensive legal issues in the future.

Understanding Probate

Before delving into the subject of whether a revocable trust can help protect you from probate, it’s important to understand what probate is. Put simply, probate is the legal process of handling the affairs of someone who has died. This process involves paying off debts and taxes and distributing property to heirs. It can be lengthy, expensive and public, and many people believe it’s something to be avoided if possible.

The Role of a Revocable Trust

One way people try to avoid probate is using a revocable trust. This type of trust is created during the life of the person who will be the lifetime beneficiary, and that person can make changes to the trust as long as they’re alive and mentally competent. The trust becomes irrevocable upon the person’s death and is then administered, usually without the necessity of probate.

Why a Revocable Trust Might Not Be Enough

Now, here’s the catch: a revocable trust only works to avoid probate insofar as the property owned by the trust is concerned. Any property that is outside the trust at the time of the person’s death may still need to go through probate. This is particularly relevant when it comes to property that is jointly owned by the person who has died and someone else. For example, if a person’s home is jointly owned with a spouse who is still alive, the spouse will inherit the home without it having to go through probate. If, however, the home is jointly owned with, say, an adult child, that child may inherit their parent’s share of the home outside of the trust. This may not be what the parents had intended. It is extremely important to make sure the ownership of the assets are properly titled.

Other Benefits of a Revocable Trust

While it’s important to understand the limitations of a revocable trust when it comes to avoiding probate, it’s also important to consider the other benefits that come with having this type of trust. For example, a revocable trust can be useful for people with complex estates, those who own property in multiple states, or those who value privacy and want to limit the amount of public information that is available about their estate after they pass away.

Contact Desert Law Group Today for Help with Your Revocable Trust in Palm Springs

While a revocable trust is a useful tool if you’re looking to protect your estate from probate, it only works if it’s set up properly and assets are titled accordingly.  In particular, you should be aware that a revocable trust only protects property that is actually owned by the trust at the time of your death, which means that other property may still need to go through probate. That being said, a revocable trust is a great tool for many people, and it’s worth discussing with an experienced estate planning attorney to see if it’s right for you. If you’re interested in learning more, or if you’re ready to start planning for your future, contact Desert Law Group Kimberly T. Lee Attorney at Law in Palm Springs today at 760-481-1144 to schedule a consultation.