It’s always an interesting read when we see those we admire doing good for no other reason than simply doing good. It’s inspiring. A recent example is found in the revocable living trust owned by the late North Carolina basketball coach Dean Smith. He left $200 each to about 180 players he’d coached over the years. Coach Smith’s trustee, Tim Breedlove, said it best:
“I don’t think he would have wanted to draw attention to himself. That was his whole life and legacy. He preferred the attention to be on others and the players.”
As mentioned, he opted for a revocable living trust as the vehicle for delivering the payouts. Revocable trusts have been around for awhile, but we’re beginning to see them in wider use in the overall estate planning process.
One of the biggest reasons these are increasingly popular: privacy. Remember, the details of Smith’s revocable trusts is because many players posted on social media. Wills, unlike these revocable living trusts, are not part of the public record. Even though the players – the beneficiaries – opted to show the kind gestures of a beloved coach via social media, you still won’t find in the public record the details of the trust.
The Revocable Part of the Revocable Living Trust
As the name implies, these types of trusts may be revoked at any time. You may change the details or dissolve the trust altogether with no problems. Anything that’s not been transferred to the trust or accounted for any other estate planning document can become part of probate.
That doesn’t, however, negate the need for a will in many instances. Any assets not included in the trust will need to be addressed in your estate plan. Material possessions, such as your home or car. In fact, many will incorporate a pour-over will, which is basically designed to account for or “pour over” any of those assets not addressed in your trusts.
Many are turned off by the time required to put these types of trusts into place, especially if there’s real property such as land involved. It’s important, though, because the last thing you want to do is commit to the time and it not be completed, which could leave it open for probate.
Despite the many benefits, the revocable living trust isn’t for everyone. For one, creditors can, up to two years after the owner’s death, place claims against it. In fact, there are some professions that you won’t find many revocable living trusts. Doctors will often opt for those types of trusts that protect them from creditors because of the liability they face during their careers. Still, for others, and as shown in Coach Smith’s generous efforts, it’s a great estate planning tool and can help ensure your final wishes are delivered just as you intended.
To learn more about the revocable living trust, contact our offices today.