BY JULIE GARBER  Updated June 25, 2019

Maybe you know of a friend or a family member who has recently created a revocable living trust. The whole concept has a certain mystique. Aren’t they just for really wealthy people? Why would anyone want to go to all that trouble when he can just sit down and write a will? 

In fact, living trusts aren’t for everybody, but they can be a perfect estate-planning tool for others depending on their concerns and their circumstances. Like so many other things in life, they come with both pros and cons. 

Pro No. 1: You Can Avoid Probate 

Probate avoidance is probably the greatest advantage of a revocable living trust. Why subject your loved ones and your property to the restrictive rules of probate court when you can easily avoid it by funding a trust?  

This can be a particularly important consideration if you own real estate in more than one state because your loved ones will be faced with two or more probate proceedings if you just leave a will. Each property would have to be probated where it is located.

A revocable living trust can also give your loved ones almost immediate access to cash during a difficult time. Compare this with the time it takes to open a probate estate and for your loved ones to gain access to your bank account.

It could take anywhere from a few weeks to several months. 

Pro No. 2: You Can Avoid Guardianship or Conservatorship Proceedings 

Revocable living trusts are not just about death. They can address certain issues while you’re living, too.

Continue Reading This is a very good list of the pros and cons to creating a Trust.

Another Pro to creating a trust is to protect a loved one, such as someone with a special need or disability. If you want to ensure that your estate will continue to provide for your disabled child, then you will need a Special Needs trust, which cannot be done with a will.

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