Some of you here have heard about the potential benefits of the living trust. I would like to review today those reasons that some of our friends have created these trusts.
First of all, the trust is revocable. This means that it can be revoked or changed at any time. If you don’t like the provisions or language of this trust, you may merely change it or modify it so that it meets your desires and your needs. Second, you can make additions or withdrawals at any time. You can add property to the trust or you can take property away from the trust. Only the property that you want to be there will remain in that trust. Third, there can be professional management. Now most people initially set up the trust and they might choose to be trustee themselves for a time. However, there is an important provision in the document that says if you are sick and unable to manage the trust, then the person or organization that you select to be successor trustee will take over and see that the property is cared for. Some people have a concern and are afraid that they may someday be too sick or unable to manage their property. It is a very comforting thought to know that the person that you have selected to carry on and watch over your property is going to be taking care of management. Of course if we do select a private person to do this, then it may be appropriate to have a second or third party as a successor trustee and eventually to have a corporate trustee as a final trustee.
There are generally provisions that provide for medical care. If you are sick and taken to the hospital, you want to know that there will be a trustee making sure you receive good care and appropriate treatment for that medical condition. In addition, the living trust is confidential. It is not a public record and, ordinarily, does not become subject to any public disclosure or review. Finally, the living trust avoids the probate process. A living trust can considerably simplify the cost and avoid the time delays of the probate process. It is a superior way of making sure that the family members that you desire to be taken care of are benefited by this agreement.