Do You Need a Revocable Living Trust?

Are you willing to go to a free seminar to find out? If so, do you also want to buy a bridge over Lake Lewisville?

There are few scams that are as enduring as the Living Trust scam. One reason is that “Living Trust” is a broad term, and any trust that is created during a person’s lifetime. A Living Trust can be an appropriate tool, but only if it is for a specific purpose. A generic trust is never appropriate.

Some common fallacies:

  • “A Revocable Living Trust will keep you from paying Estate Taxes.” That assumes that otherwise you would have to pay an Estate Tax, now doesn’t it? Well, Texas doesn’t have an Estate Tax. And 99% of estates won’t get hit with the Federal Estate Tax because of the large exemption – $5.43 million per person, portable ($10.86 million for a married couple).
  • “A Revocable Living Trust will keep you from probating your estate.” Wrong. Few people put all of their assets into a Trust – in fact, a lot of trusts are never even funded – so a probate is usually necessary even if you have a Revocable Living Trust. And probating a will in Texas is not a bad thing. Texas has one of the easiest probate methods in the Union.
  • “A Revocable Living Trust will protect your assets from creditors.” Wrong, wrong and wrong again. If a Trust is revocable, then none of the assets are protected from creditors.
  • “A Revocable Living Trust will be taxed at a lower rate.” Wrong. It’s taxed at your rate during your lifetime. Even worse, if the Trust becomes Irrevocable when you die, then it actually has a higher tax rate.
  • “A Revocable Living Trust will keep your affairs private.” Half wrong and half right. The assets in a Revocable Living Trust are discoverable by your creditors and your beneficiaries. If the Trust is litigated, then the assets will be part of the Court’s record that is open to everyone. Titled assets, such as cars and houses, are discoverable on public databases even if in the name of the Trust.
  • “A Revocable Living Trust makes it easier to manage your affairs.” Seriously? Have you ever tried to read a Trust document? How about leafing through the Texas Trust Code for fun?

Not convinced? Then just plop down $6,000 in a sales seminar and receive a beautiful binder full of fill-in-the-blank documents. If you do, add another $10,000 for that bridge, will you?

Hammerle Finley Law Firm. Give us a call. We can help.

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The information contained in this article is general information only and does not constitute legal advice.