Many residents of Northern Virginia may have heard about revocable living trusts being a useful estate planning device.

Fairfax County residents may have questions about how exactly a revocable living trust works and what it advantages it offered in the estate planning process.

The mechanics of a revocable living trust

A trust is a separate entity, created through a legal document, in which a person, called the grantor, names another person or business, called the trustee, to manage her property.

Once the person creates the trust, he or she must also make sure to legally transfer any and all property he or she wants in the trust. This is because the trust is a separate legal entity and can only own property that is sold or given to it.

A revocable living trust is a type of trust where a person will name himself the trustee of his own property.

Thus, he keeps control over his property while he is alive and able to manage; a good trust will nominate a successor trustee who will automatically take over when the need arises.

The trust is revocable because the person who created it has the right at any time to dissolve it.

Advantages to a revocable living trust

Following are some advantages of a revocable living trust:

  • The estate of a person who has a well-prepared living trust will likely not have to go through lengthy probate process.
  • Guardianships and conservatorships may not be necessary if the person who created the trust gets disabled.
  • Trusts offer a variety of protection to the beneficiaries of the trust as well, including protection from creditors and protection in the event of a divorce or separation.

Other advantages may also apply in a person’s particular situation. A Virginia resident who is interested in this estate planning option should consider speaking to an experienced attorney about it.