What IS a Revocable Living Trust? - Ask The Attorney

revocable living trust Sep 01, 2016

Q: What Is a Revocable Living Trust?

A: To explain revocable living trusts, or RLT’s, I like to use an analogy. Let’s say you’re a child, and have a little red wagon. You take your Barbies, your G.I. Joes, your toy cars, and you put all of them in your wagon. If you’re walking along the sidewalk and trip and fall, what happens? Well, you trip and fall...but your toys stay in your wagon. The wagon serves a purpose. It keeps things together, so that if something happens, the handle can be picked up by someone else and they can just keep walking. The RLT is the same. Like the wagon, it is a vessel, meant to hold your items in a way that provides the easiest transfer upon disability or death. However, just like the wagon, if you don’t put your “toys” (accounts, real estate, etc.) inside your trust, it doesn’t work in the way it was intended. Also, the trust, just like the wagon, doesn’t change your things. If I put my Barbie inside my little red wagon, it is still my Barbie, correct? Same with the trust. If you put your checking account into the trust, it is still your checking account. The trust, like the wagon, is a vessel - a tool, when used properly, to make life (and death) easier.

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This blog post and answer is not legal advice. It is for informational purposes only. For legal advice on your specific situation, consult with a qualified elder law attorney.