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The most common use of a revocable trust is to avoid probate. Property placed in a revocable trust during your lifetime is not subject to probate at your death. The trustee owns the “legal” interest in the estate, and title in the trustee survives the death of the Settlor. The death of the Settlor is simply an event requiring certain action by the trustee. Though the directions may be more complex, typical directions require the trustee, or surviving co-trustee to pay all expenses of last illness and death and any other unpaid expenses remaining after the Settlor’s death, and to then distribute the balance of the trust property to the beneficiaries that you have designated. In this respect, a revocable trust works much like a will. The difference is the avoidance of some of the costs and formality of probate.

Another benefit of a revocable trust is that it provides a method for management of your business affairs while you are living, if you are disabled or incapacitated. In such circumstances, if most of a person’s property is in such a trust, the appointment of a conservator by the probate court can be avoided, along with the attendant cost, publicity, and inflexibility of administration.

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