Disadvantages of Revocable Living Trust

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“There is a certain magic surrounding living trusts. You might think they are only for the wealthy or more challenging to set up than a simple last will. But they can be used by anyone, whether rich or poor.”

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Disadvantages of Revocable Living Trust

The benefits and disadvantages of revocable living trust vary depending on your circumstances and concerns.


Why Is A Living Trust Different From A Last Will And Testament?

To understand the differences between a revocable living trust and a last will, let’s first talk about its pros and cons. Note critical differences between the two instruments. Both specify how an estate is to pass.

The difference between these two instruments is in their operation. An irrevocable living trust can be utilized for estate administration throughout the grantor’s life. We can also use it for estate management after the grantor’s death. On the other hand, you can also utilize this purpose. It allows the grantor to distribute their estate only after the grantor dies.


The Disadvantages of Revocable Living Trust

It is common for people to need to understand the purpose of living trusts, which leads to some disadvantages. For example, some believe all trusts are helpful asset protection tools.

There are some disadvantages to setting up a revocable living trust where you are not the beneficiary but can use it to protect assets. Other disadvantages include:

  • Limitations on transfers. You must follow the trust document’s instructions to move your assets into a trust. Specific retirement plans and IRAs cannot reside in a one-person trust.
  • No tax avoidance. Generally, individuals cannot use living trusts to avoid taxes entirely. Sometimes, you can reduce taxes but only prevent them partially.
  • They increased the contesting period. Will contest periods typically last between 30 and 90 days, while living trust contest periods generally last one to five years, depending on where assets reside. This extended contest period makes it more likely that disagreements will still arise years after your passing.


Revocable Living Trusts: What Are They?

A revocable living trust specifies how to distribute your assets after you die. This document outlines handling your assets, including bank accounts, investments, and property, after you are gone. It is a living trust, meaning you create it while alive. Then, the document outlines how to transfer assets to beneficiaries after your death.

In contrast, irrevocable trusts remain the same. Revocable trusts are much easier to change or cancel. Trusts are usually managed by the person who created them while they are alive, but it may be possible to name a successor trustee who will handle the assets after you pass away.


Revocable trusts: Myths and Facts



Tax Savings by Revocable Trusts. Revocable trusts do not conserve income taxes or estate taxes. Depending on the grantor’s earnings tax situation, the IRS may discriminate against grantors who rely on revocable reliance throughout their lifetime. Generally, income tax purposes treat the property of a revocable trust as if it were the grantor’s home or business.



There is no right for heirs to challenge a revocable trust. Disappointed beneficiaries can challenge revocable trusts, like wills. It may be more likely for a trust arrangement to fail than a will in states where creating a will is more accessible than building a trust.



A revocable trust protects assets from creditors during the grantor’s lifetime. It would help if you corrected this. Lenders may reach possessions along the way.



A Revocable Trust Does Not Deliver Property More Quickly. Recipients of a revocable trust do not receive property more quickly than they would with a will upon death. Revocable trusts and estates fall under the guideline that requires notification for financial institutions in some jurisdictions.



Trusts are revocable and do not reduce administrative costs or legal fees. The individual agent and trustee of an estate are both entitled to commissions. In most cases, the trustee’s annual commissions will be greater than the personal agent’s, even when computed at a lower rate. The trust typically lasts many years before dispersing.

Generally, legal fees apply when preparing estate taxes, earnings taxes, and assets circulation–charges that apply to both revocable trusts and estates. The percentage of a lawyer’s fee is usually calculated based on the value of residential or commercial properties of the deceased, not its probate estate, if the lawyer calculates the cost on a percentage basis. Further, revocable trusts usually do not have to pay court filing fees.


Revocable Living Trust Advantages


Revocable Living Trust Advantages


Keeping your estate out of probate

Because trusts themselves do not die with their creators—referred to in legal terms as “grantors” or “trust makers,” assets held in trusts do not go through probate. In addition to retaining its existence after death, a trust can transfer its assets to anyone the grantor specified in the trust’s formation documents based on its terms. A court does not need to oversee or involve the trust.

There are more advantages to revocable living trusts than just avoiding probate. It’s essential to consider if you own real estate in more than one state, as your loved ones would have to deal with more than one probate proceeding if you leave just a will. There would have to be probate proceedings for each property where it resides.

The beneficiaries of a revocable living trust can immediately access cash through a revocable living trust. If your loved ones cannot access your bank account until a probate estate opens, ask yourself how they will cover funeral costs and other necessities until the probate estate is closed.


Avoid guardianships and conservatorships.

It isn’t just about death when it comes to revocable living trusts. They can also be a valuable tool for saving your loved ones from a costly court-supervised guardianship and a costly court-supervised probate process when you die.

If you become incapacitated, guardianship or conservatorship may be imposed. It would place restrictive rules on your loved ones and your property. Creating a revocable living trust involves naming someone to manage the trust if you can no longer handle your affairs.

After you have followed your trust’s provisions for determining your incapacity, your successor trustee may take over trust assets without court intervention.


Privacy is important

The probate process is public. Anyone can visit your county courthouse and see your will and all the documents you have filed there. Strangers in some states can even look up court dockets and filings online.

When probate begins, and your will resides with the court, anyone can see what you own to leave to others and who received what. Since trust documents don’t go through a court, they don’t become public records.


Revocable Living Trust Disadvantages


The setup and funding of a revocable living trust

The setup and funding of a revocable living trust is generally more expensive and time-consuming than writing a will alone, up to three times as much. However, the costs are similar since probate costs money, too. Those costs add to writing a will for a fair comparison.

When you form the trust, you must prepare deeds and other documents that transfer ownership of your assets to the trust. You will need to call your bank, your investment and insurance companies, and your transfer agent. You must update beneficiaries and change ownership of your accounts and stocks. We must issue new stock certificates and assign unique titles to cars and boats.

For many, the principle is the disadvantage of having a revocable living trust. Still, it is only worth the time, money, and effort to do so if the trust has sufficient assets. Before you use this estate-planning tool, you should carefully consider what type of assets you own and how to fund them into the trust.


Wills and estate plans are still necessary.

If you acquire new assets and do not move those assets into your trust, you might find your trust partially funded when you die. It can be surprising to remember to transfer assets into the trust over time.

A “pour-over will” will “catch” your unfunded assets if you die without trust. In a pour-over will, your assets are “poured” into a trust upon your death. Even though it must pass probate, it can still serve as an invaluable backup in the worst-case scenario.


A trust can’t own some assets.

Among these are retirement plans and assets you may hold jointly. If you own your house as a joint tenant, you cannot transfer ownership to your trust. If you use beneficiary designations, you can avoid probate even when you use an alternative means of moving ownership of these assets.


An heir’s right to contest a trust lasts longer.

The laws of most states specify when and how a person can challenge a will. The period can range from 30 to 120 days.

This is in contrast to the possibility of contesting a living trust, which has until recently been subject only to state-specific statutes of limitation. It usually takes a year to five years for these statutes to expire, but they can sometimes be longer.


When I Create A Revocable Living Trust, Do I Need To Notarize It?

As with any legally binding document, it’s essential to ensure everything is in order when creating a revocable living trust. You can notarize or witness it as needed. Notarization laws regarding revocable living trusts vary from state to state.

There is no requirement for all trusts in Florida to exist, but a revocable trust that transfers property outside of your estate must be in writing with two witnesses and a notary.


Revocable Living Trusts: Tips for Creating

  • The financial advisor you hire can assist you in creating an estate plan that suits your family’s needs. To determine which advisor is right for you, you can interview your advisor matches at no cost using Attorney Real Estate Group’s tool, which will provide you with three vetted advisors in your area.

Getting started now is the best way to find an advisor who can assist you in reaching your financial goals.

  • Access to so much online information has made it possible for many estate planners to do their estate planning. While taking control of your estate planning is commendable, you must avoid potential pitfalls.
  • Creating a will is enough for some people, but if that’s the case, it’s a good idea to learn about what wills are good for and will not. You can also create different types of wills, depending on your circumstances. Here are a few things to know about wills to help you get started.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Irrevocable versus revocable living trusts: what’s the difference?

An irrevocable trust can even be dissolved or undone without the intervention of a court. The trust’s creator can change the terms of a revocable trust at any time. An irrevocable trust can be dissolved or undone at any time, but it usually requires the intervention of a court to do so. The benefit is, however, that all assets escape the creator’s taxable estate.


What is the tax treatment of revocable living trusts?

In contrast to an irrevocable trust, where the grantor or creator has entirely relinquished control of the assets, revocable trusts generate all income for the grantor or creator. The grantor reports income and claim deductions on their tax return.


Can I put assets in my revocable living trust if I need to remember?

The executor of your probate estate can make a “pour-over” to transfer any assets omitted from your estate to your trust, but sharing these assets would still require probate.


The Bottom Line

An estate planning process is essential, and you’ll want to ensure you understand all the pros and cons of your choices. If you’re considering something as important as estate planning, speak with a legal professional first. The purpose of this article is to provide general information, not to provide legal advice. For that, you need a lawyer.

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