Revocable Living Trusts are real and women, especially, should consider having a living trust as part of their estate plan.
Not because my grandmother, one of the best women who ever lived, had a hope chest at the foot of her bed. Women need living trusts because living trusts are one of the best ways to protect yourself and your assets as you age and after you pass away.
So what is a living trust and why do I liken it to the hope chest at the foot of my grandmother’s bed?
The purpose of the hope chest was to keep things safe, likely for someone else, in the future. But maybe for the person who made them and stored them to use later and know that while they were in storage, the items were safe and sound. That is why most hope chests were lined with cedar. (The Lane Company made most of the hope chests I saw growing up in the Midwest. Just an aside, there.) The cedar lining helped preserve the things inside the hope chest. Things like handmade quilts, handmade blankets, handmade items for use later or to give to others later. To keep them safe.
A revocable living trust does the same thing. You build this beautiful wooden box (with the help of an estate planning attorney like me). You line that wooden box with cedar. You also build an instruction manual. You put what you want to keep safe inside that box. This is called funding your revocable living trust. It usually means you will retitle an asset (like a bank account or your house) into the name of the trust. You could also update your beneficiary designations to be directed to the box (trust) when you pass away. The things inside this box, i.e. the revocable living trust, are yours to do as you wish with during your lifetime.
But if during your lifetime, you become incapacitated and you need help with managing your things and ensuring your things inside that box are safe, there is that instruction manual. That manual says very clearly who can help you with your box while you are alive and may or may not be incapacitated. It makes it very clear who benefits from the things in the box. You. You benefit. Period.
Then when you pass away, it will be much smoother for someone who is named in that instructional manual to step in and ensure that the wishes for what you want to have happen to your things actually happens.
The hope chest, the beautiful wooden box, makes it more likely you and your things (for you and your loved ones) are protected.
That is why women need a revocable living trust. Not to complicate things, but to uncomplicate things. Not to take away things, but to ensure things are there when women need them as they age.
If you are a woman and are interested in learning more about revocable living trusts for you and maybe even your spouse, call us. We help women protect themselves and their property. It is what we do!