Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Revocable Living Trusts

Who can act as a trustee of a revocable living trust?

You can be your own trustee. This is especially true if you’re familiar with handling your financial affairs. You can also name your wife or anyone else you wish as your trustee.

If I place my assets in a revocable living trust, can I access them?

Yes. If you name yourself as the trustee of your revocable living trust and you manage all of the assets in the trust just as you did before the assets were placed in the trust. The placing of the assets in the revocable living trust simply transfers title of the assets from you personally to your revocable living trust. The trust is managed for the benefit of the individual named as a trust beneficiary, which in most cases will be you.

Can I Change, Modify or Revoke the Living Trust?

Yes. You have complete authority to change the terms of your trust whenever you see fit. You can also revoke the trust at any time.

Does a Revocable Trust Avoid Income Taxes?

No. Generally speaking a revocable living trust is not a tax planning device for income tax purposes. It can have benefits with regard to the Federal Estate Tax and New York Inheritance Tax. These taxes only apply to estates.

Do only rich people need revocable living trusts?

No. Although revocable living trusts can provide you with estate tax benefits, there are many good reasons to establish a revocable living trust. A revocable living trust can eliminate probate. This can save you money in legal fees, court expenses and simply the distribution of your estate upon your death. Revocable living trusts can protect you from creditors. A revocable trust is a private document not filed with the court. Wills are public documents filed with the court. The contents of your trust will remain private.

To discuss your situation with a New York wills & trust attorney, please contact The Law Offices of Elliot S. Schlissel for a free confidential consultation. We can be reached toll free at 1-800-344-6431, or in the five boroughs at 718-350-2802 and Nassau County at 516-561-6645. You also can fill out our intake form, and we will contact you.