The Annual Revocable Living Trust Tune-Up
A revocable living trust can be one of the best, most effective ways to plan a coordinated estate strategy to avoid probate. However, this type of planning requires some maintenance to make sure your trust is doing everything it can. Too often, people with revocable living trusts go years, or even decades, without reviewing things. This is why my law office offers highly discounted Annual Review Meetings just to make sure our trust clients get the most for the money they spent on a trust plan.
Trust Tune-Up Items
Here are the main items we typically cover in an Annual Review Meeting:
- Trust Funding: Are all of your assets titled in the name of the trust, set up to pay on death into the trust, or set up to pay on death to other beneficiaries or trusts? Have you added, changed, or closed any accounts since the last meeting?
- Agents: Are the people you have chosen as trustees, power of attorney agents, and/or health proxies still good, or do we have to make changes?
- Beneficiaries: Are there any changes to the beneficiaries, or even contingent beneficiaries, listed in your trust? Does anyone need to be added or removed? If you have charities as beneficiaries, is the percentage still good, or does that need to be changed?
- Changed Circumstances: Has anything changed in terms of health, marital status, financial situation, for you or your beneficiaries? Has anyone become disabled for public benefit purposes?
- Changes in the Law: Have there been any changes to trusts and estates law, or more probably changes in tax law that may impact your estate?
- Long-Term Care Need: While not done every year, every other year I typically review options to pay for long-term care and discuss the different alternatives to see if there is anything that needs to be looked further into.
While many times, there are hardly any changes at all to your revocable living trust, it is worth reviewing these items annually to make sure that your trust is still on track. In many cases, changes to the documents are only needed every 5 to 7 years on average. However, changes to accounts and investments typically happen a lot more frequently.
While these annual review meetings are only available to my law firm’s trust clients, my publishing company has a whole course for sale available specifically on funding a revocable living trust available at www.TrustFundingCourse.com or you can check out the Free Webinar at www.TrustFundingWebinar.com.