A Revocable Living Trust allows you to set aside and manage assets while you are alive, and when you pass, those assets are transferred to beneficiaries without going through the probate process. While a Living Revocable Trust may be more expensive to create than a Last Will and Testament, its benefits can outweigh the additional cost, depending upon your circumstances and preferences.
What does a Revocable Living Trust do?
Before we get into the cost of a Revocable Living Trust, let’s take a look at what it does.
If you have assets – your home, valuables, financial accounts – that you want to leave to your children or other persons of your choice (known as beneficiaries) after you pass, you can place them into a Trust. The assets must be transferred out of your ownership and into the Trust. This involves retitling the assets, and naming the Revocable Living Trust as the owner.
You must name a trustee – it can be you – to oversee the Trust and manage the assets. A successor trustee should also be appointed who would take over if you or the initial trustee becomes incapacitated or dies. A Revocable Living Trust can be amended as your life changes.
When you die, the assets would go directly to the beneficiaries you designated in the Trust. Unlike a Will, a Revocable Living Trust avoids probate – an attractive feature since it streamlines the bequeathing of assets.
The Cost of a Revocable Living Trust
Now, here’s what you can expect to pay.
If the Trust is created by an attorney, the cost ranges from $2,000 to as high as $8,000 for a couple and $1,500 to $5,000 for an individual. If you create it yourself online, it will cost anywhere from $100 to $500. Costs vary from state to state.
According to AttorneyFee, among the factors that go into the cost of an attorney crafting a Revocable Living Trust are:
- Number of assets to be retitled
- The complexity of the estate plan
- Purpose of the Trust
- Your tax and financial circumstances
- When and how the assets are to be transferred
- Appointing a person to manage assets for minor children
- Value of your estate
- Provisions of the Trust
If you sign up for Gentreo, you can create your Revocable Living Trust along with all of your other documents for just $99 (or $9.99 per month for 12 months).
Gentreo has easy, step-by-step instructions to create an affordable, legally binding Revocable Living Trust without involving an attorney.
Revocable Living Trust vs. Will
Both of these are essential estate planning documents designed as vehicles to designate heirs who would receive your worldly belongings upon your passing. A Will goes into effect when you die and must go through probate – a process where the Will must be validated by a probate court judge.
On the other hand, a Revocable Living Trust is binding during your lifetime and, since it is not subject to probate, it does not become a public record, therefore ensuring privacy.
With a Revocable Living Trust, you can set provisions for how assets are transferred, giving you greater flexibility in controlling them. For example, you can set a certain age when your child could receive withdrawals from a financial account as well as the frequency and monetary amount.
The Cost of Settling a Revocable Living Trust
The cost to settle a Revocable Living Trust generally ranges from less than 1% to up to 5% of the value of the assets. This includes fees for an attorney, accountant, or trust administrator that will be hired by the trustee to assist with the disbursement of the assets.
Taxes may be owed upon the settling of the Trust, and these taxes may also be required for you to pay while it is in effect. There may also be costs for appraising and/or retitling valuables or property in the Trust.
Compared to a Revocable Living Trust, a Will is less expensive to create – the up-front cost is typically about $1,000 or less if the document is prepared by an attorney. However, in the end, the probate process may cost 3% to 7% of the estate’s value, adding to the overall price tag of a Will.
You Need Both a Will and a Revocable Living Trust
A Will and a Revocable Living Trust should be part of your estate plan. Both serve specific purposes and ensure the protection of your family and everything you worked hard for.