Revocable & Irrevocable Trusts

Chico Estate Planning Attorney

Using a trust over a will as part of your estate plan has its benefits, but it is important that you know exactly what your trust can and should do. In particular, you should know the differences between a revocable trust and an irrevocable trust. With the help and guidance of our Chico estate planning lawyer, Ms. Nikki Farris, you can determine which is best for your estate and your interests. Contact us today and we can get to work on reviewing your estate to choose the right trust type for you.

What is a Revocable Trust?

Sometimes called a living trust, a revocable trust can, more or less, be altered at your own discretion and with little to no much interference from third parties. If you need to modify your estate plan and have used a revocable trust, creating a trust amendment should be all you need to do. The flexibility and non-permanence of a revocable trust also means that it is more susceptible to outside influences.

If you are sued and ordered to pay the plaintiff, creditors can get their hands on estate property included in just a revocable trust. If you require Medicaid benefits, your living trust assets can be used to help pay for costs. Furthermore, your estate will be taxed more heavily from state and federal levels if you have only used a revocable trust.

There are three main benefits to revocable trusts to consider:

  1. Incapacity planning: If you become incapacitated to the point where you can no longer make decisions for yourself, your assets within your revocable trust will be controlled by a trustee you have selected beforehand instead of a guardian appointed by the court.
  2. Probate avoidance: Estate assets kept in a revocable trust will transfer straight into the hands of named beneficiaries without needing to go through probate, speeding up the inheritance process.
  3. Privacy: Wills going through probate are opened up to the public. Keeping your assets in a living trust keeps your personal matters private. This can afford you welcome peace of mind.

What is an Irrevocable Trust?

As the name suggests, an irrevocable trust is a form of trust that is difficult to adjust once it is completed and signed. The rigidity of an irrevocable trust means that you must be certain it is drafted exactly to your standards before finalizing it, or else you could be faced with complications and high costs to change it later. Always draft and review your irrevocable trust with the help of a professional estate planning attorney to avoid unnecessary troubles in the future.

Irrevocable trusts do come with advantages caused by their inflexibility:

  1. Tax breaks: Once you place assets into an irrevocable trust, they are largely not considered to be “yours” anymore and instead belong to the trust itself. When you pass away, your estate will be taxed but not your trust. Putting most, if not all, of your assets into an irrevocable trust should incur smaller taxes and provide more for your named beneficiaries.
  2. Asset defense: If assets in a revocable trust can be vulnerable to lawsuits and debts, it can be said that assets in an irrevocable trust are invulnerable to these same troubles. By surrendering control of your assets to an irrevocable trust, you simultaneously shield them from the hands of others.
  3. Charity: You can assign assets in your irrevocable trust directly to charity. Not only will this help out the charity of your choice with welcome contributions but it will also give you a charity tax break the year you make the assignment. If you set up your irrevocable trust to donate portions of your estate to charity when you pass away, your entire estate will receive a tax break.

We Can Help You Reach a Decision

Your choices of trusts – revocable or irrevocable – may be laid out right in front of you but the best option may still be understandably unclear. Allow our Chico estate planning attorney to step in, review your estate and assets, and help guide you to the right choice. When you work with us, you will see that we genuinely care about you and your family’s wellbeing, and that we want to see you comfortable and satisfied with our legal services.

You can contact us today and request a free initial consultation with our team to begin.

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