Revocable Living Trust
A revocable living trust is a document separate from a Will that allows you to administer and distribute your estate assets during your lifetime and after death. A revocable living trust is a trust that can be amended, changed, or revoked during the lifetime of the person making a trust. All living trusts in Texas are presumed to be revocable unless the trust document, or trust agreement, states otherwise.
To create a revocable living trust, a person making a trust, also called a “Settlor” or “Grantor”, makes a gift of property to the trust for a “Trustee” to manage. This property can be personal property and/or real property such as a house or real estate. The settlor/grantor and the trustee can be the same person and often are when the grantor is making the trust to manage their own estate assets. In the state of Texas, a settlor or grantor must execute and sign a deed to transfer property to a trust, otherwise, the property is not considered a part of the trust.
A trustee is responsible for carrying out the terms of the trust. A trustee is considered a fiduciary. A trustee has many fiduciary duties and could be held personally liable for violating his or her fiduciary duties or breaching the trust agreement by not administering the trust in accordance with trust terms. Thus, it is important when making a trust to consult with an estate planning attorney about the terms of the trust and the duties of the trustee.
A revocable living trust does not necessarily avoid probate in the state of Texas. When a person dies, they often leave debts and other unpaid bills including medical, funeral, and last expenses of living. Once a person dies, these debts become the debts of the deceased person’s estate. Debts of an estate must be administered and paid through an estate administration in the state of Texas and this legal process requires probate. Therefore, a person making a trust should consult an estate planning attorney about also creating a Will that can be offered for probate in Texas.
A revocable living trust, however, may help with avoiding probate in multiple states if a person owns real property located in other states. A revocable living trust can also be used for privacy reasons if a person wants to keep the contents of their estate, or their asset information, private. You should consult with an estate planning attorney on the benefits of using a revocable living trust. An estate planning attorney can provide advice and counsel on whether a revocable living trust is advisable under Texas trust laws and whether it can be used to accomplish your particular estate planning goals.
The information provided on this page is for educational purposes only and is NOT legal advice. You should consult an estate planning attorney if you have any questions about the information contained on this page or about your particular circumstances or those of someone you know.
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