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A Revocable Living Trust Can't Help You If You Don't Put Anything In It

Many people are happy to share that they have a revocable living trust as part of their estate plan. In a lot of cases, they are happy to have the revocable living trust because it avoids probate. Probate isn’t bad in all situations, but if one of the reasons you have a revocable living trust is to avoid probate, you can’t accomplish your goal of avoiding probate if you don’t put anything in the trust.

A revocable living trust is like a bucket. When you complete your estate plan, you have a bucket but it is empty. You have to take the next step and actually change the ownership of whatever you want to put in the trust so that the trust owns the asset instead of you personally. If the trust owns it, then it is in the bucket. If the trust doesn’t own it, then it is not in the bucket. You can tell if the trust owns it by looking for the words “Trustee” after your name on the ownership papers for each of your assets.

It is equally important to have your assets in your bucket for ease of administration while you are still alive, but no longer able to legally make your own decisions. In that case, the successor trustee named in your trust (chosen by you) steps in and makes decisions about everything that is in the bucket for you.

If your assets are not in your trust, then your successor trustee has no ability to step into your shoes. For items outside of your trust bucket you have to rely on your agent under your durable power of attorney. If you have not appointed an agent, then you have to rely on the guardian that the guardianship court chooses for you.

So, don’t carry around an empty bucket. Take the necessary steps to actually put assets into the bucket.

  • Why Choose
    Our Firm?

    We limit the number of clients that we have at one time, allowing us to focus on your case.

    Personalized Representation
  • Know the
    Benefits

    Find out if you and your family can benefit from our elder law planning services!

    More Information
  • Dedicated & Experienced

    Our firm exclusively handles elder law concerns so your family can obtain peace of mind.

    Meet Your Attorney
  • Complimentary Consultation

    Let us help. Request your consultation today and we will be in touch.

    Contact Us Now

Contact Us

Edwards Elder Law, P.A.
St. Petersburg Elder Law Attorney
Located at: 2510 1st Ave. N.,
St. Petersburg, FL 33713
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Phone: (727) 755-5808
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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.