Wills & Estates

What Is a Revocable Living Trust and Why Do You Need One in Sydney?

When a person dies, there are several factors which determine how their assets will get distributed. Usually, their will states how they would like this done, or in absence of a will, the law will be applied.

However, there is an alternative which allows for easy adjustments and updates, according to the person’s wishes while they are still alive.

It’s called a revocable living trust (otherwise known as inter vivos trust).

A revocable living trust is an estate planning tool that allows the creator of the trust to make adjustments to it while they are still alive, making it easy to make amendments as they see fit.

This is particularly useful in instances where the trustor (creator of the trust) has reason to believe they may want to change who they leave assets to.

Revocable Living Trust in Sydney

It is set up while the trustor is still alive, and all the assets are transferred to the trust. The trustor still retains control of the assets in the trust by being named as the trustee. Once they die, the trust gets appointed a new trustee and can continue to operate.

What’s the Difference Between a Revocable Living Trust And a Will?

With both the trust and the will, you can name beneficiaries to receive assets and property, leave assets to young children and change or update the document as you wish.

However, with a revocable living trust you can avoid probate, avoid conservatorship, significantly reduce the chances of a court dispute and keep your documents private, even after your death.

Essentially, the trust decreases the chances that there will be a dispute, and ensures that you have the final say over what you want to happen to your assets. This makes it much easier for your beneficiaries, saving them both significant time and money, and ensures that your will gets carried out as you wanted it to be.

Revocable Living Trusts Avoid The Probate Process

A revocable living trust can often mean avoiding the probate process altogether. The process of probate is usually long, costly and often more trouble than it solves.

However, with a revocable living trust, the estate can be passed on to the beneficiaries without the involvement of the courts, which makes for a quick and painless process.

Transferring Assets To the Trust

All assets that are to be included in the trust must be put in the name of the trust. For most items, this simply means being added to the trust document.

However, for assets with titles, such as property, they need to be transferred into the name of the trust. This is often a quick and simple process, but it must be done correctly in order to avoid disputes and probate.

Do You Need a Lawyer to Create A Revocable Living Trust?

No. It is entirely possible to create a revocable living trust without the help of a lawyer. However, you must be sure you know what you are doing, because mistakes in the process can lead to disputes, probate and court interference when it comes time to distribute the property.

Having a lawyer help you with establishing your trust will ensure that it is done 100% correct and you are far less likely to have any issues further down the line. They are also able to guide and advise you on what the best approach is given your particular situation, to ensure you get the best outcome.

If you are looking to create a revocable living trust, speak to us at Elmassian Lawyers today. We are experts in wills, estate planning and trusts and are here to ensure you set up your trust correctly and take the route that best suits your needs. Call us today on 02 9958 2407 or email