The Importance of Revocable Living Trusts for Parents with Young Children

When it comes to safeguarding the future of your young children, there are numerous steps you can take to ensure their safety and security. From baby-proofing your home to carefully monitoring their activities, parents go to great lengths to protect their children. However, one crucial aspect that parents often overlook is estate planning. Creating a revocable living trust can provide parents with peace of mind and ensure that their children are well taken care of in the event of their untimely passing.


Understanding Revocable Living Trusts
A revocable living trust is a versatile and flexible estate planning tool that allows individuals to protect their assets and determine how they will be distributed upon their death. Unlike a will, which only goes into effect after death, a revocable living trust is active during the grantor’s lifetime. The grantor, who is typically the parent in this case, retains control over their assets and can make changes to the trust as needed.


Five Reasons Why Parents of Young Children Need a Revocable Living Trust

1. Avoiding Probate
One of the primary advantages of a revocable living trust is that it helps parents avoid the
probate process. Probate is a legal procedure that validates a will and distributes the assets
according to its instructions. However, probate can be a time-consuming and expensive
process, often taking months or even years to complete. For parents with young children, a
revocable living trust provides a way to transfer assets to their children without the need
for probate, ensuring a smooth transition and immediate availability of funds.

2. Ensuring Immediate Financial Support
In the event of the parents’; untimely passing, young children may need immediate financial support for their care and well-being. A revocable living trust allows parents to designate a successor trustee who can step in and manage the trust’s assets on behalf of the children. This ensures that the children’s financial needs are met without delay and without the need for court intervention.

3. Flexibility in Asset Distribution
A revocable living trust offers parents the flexibility to determine how and when their
children will receive their inheritance. Unlike a will, which distributes assets outright and at
a predetermined age, a trust allows parents to specify conditions and terms for asset
distribution. This can include provisions for education, healthcare, and other specific needs
of the children, ensuring that the assets are used responsibly and in their best interest.     

4. Providing for Special Needs Children
Parents of special needs children face unique challenges when it comes to estate planning. A revocable living trust allows parents to create a plan that provides for the long-term care
and support of their special needs child. By designating a trustee and outlining specific
instructions in the trust, parents can ensure that their child’s financial needs are met while
maintaining their eligibility for government assistance programs.

5. Protecting Assets from Creditors and Divorce
Another critical aspect of a revocable living trust is its ability to protect assets from
potential creditors and divorce. By placing assets in a trust, parents can shield them from
potential claims by creditors or even from the division of assets in the event of a divorce.
This provides an added layer of protection for the children’s inheritance and ensures that it
is preserved for their benefit.


How to Create a Revocable Living Trust
Creating a revocable living trust is a straightforward process that typically involves the
following steps:

1. Consult with an Estate Planning Attorney: It is highly recommended to seek the
guidance of an experienced estate planning attorney who can help you navigate the
complexities of creating a revocable living trust. They will assist you in understanding
the legal requirements and tailoring the trust to your specific needs.

2. Identify Your Assets: Take inventory of all your assets, including bank accounts,
investments, real estate, and personal property. This will help determine what assets
should be included in the trust.

3. Appoint a Trustee: Choose a trustee who will be responsible for administering the trust and distributing the assets according to your instructions. This can be a family member, trusted friend, or a professional trustee.

4. Determine Beneficiaries: Specify who the beneficiaries of the trust will be, which in this case would be your children. You can also include provisions for secondary beneficiaries in case the primary beneficiaries are unable to inherit.

5. Fund the Trust: Transfer ownership of your assets to the trust by re-titling them in the name of the trust. This step is crucial to ensure that the assets are protected and can be distributed according to your wishes.

6. Review and Update: Regularly review and update your trust to reflect any changes in your family situation or financial circumstances. This will ensure that the trust remains current and aligned with your intentions.

As a parent of young children, it is essential to prioritize their future and well-being through comprehensive estate planning. A revocable living trust offers numerous benefits, including avoiding probate, ensuring immediate financial support, providing flexibility in asset distribution, protecting special needs children, and safeguarding assets from creditors and divorce. By working with an experienced estate planning attorney, parents can create a revocable living trust that provides security and peace of mind, knowing that their children
will be well taken care of in the future. Start planning today to protect your family’s future.