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The benefits of having a revocable living trust

Not everyone believes that having a revocable living trust is necessary. After all, the federal estate tax exemption for individuals is $5.34 million and $10.68 million for married couples. However, the purpose of such an estate planning tool concerns more than just saving upon estate taxes. A revocable living trust can allow distributions to heirs without the assets having to go through probate and can thus be an effective means for distribution of assets.

One New York estate planning attorney speaks about how revocable living trusts can prevent headaches. Creation of such a trust can prevent family squabbles and reduce difficulties concerning creditors. It can also provide a certain amount of privacy concerning the estate for family members.

In one particular instance the original will was missing. Use of the revocable trust, however, was sufficient to convince a judge that the wording in a copy of the will was proper.

We also need to remember that state tax requirements need to be taken into consideration. New York taxes on estates greater than $1 million can amount to 10 percent. Use of a revocable living trust can reduce or even eliminate state taxes that would otherwise be owed.

It's a good idea to speak to estate planning and trust administration lawyers regarding any estate planning concerns. These attorneys may be able to provide a number of legal options to reduce taxes and expenses the estate may have to pay. These attorneys can also provide extra services for trustees or executors who are caring out their fiduciary duties concerning the trust.

Source: Palm Beach Daily News, "Need a revocable living trust?" Gail Liberman, April 27, 2014

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