To create a revocable trust is, essentially, creating a legal document. Experienced estate planning attorneys can probably draft the trust document itself relatively quickly. However, depending on how complex your trust is, it could take weeks to complete the transfers of ownership of your assets, to the trust.
Establishing the Details of your Trust
First, a revocable trust takes less time to create than an irrevocable trust, because a revocable trust operates under your social security number for tax purposes. This means, you are not required to apply for a Tax Identification Number for the trust, from the IRS. Also, with a revocable trust, you are allowed to serve as the trustee, which means you won’t have to go through the process of finding someone to manage your trust. You will need to spend time determining who your beneficiaries will be and how you want the property distributed.
Transferring Assets to your trust
The first step in transferring your assets is to make an exhaustive list of them, so that you can determine which assets to include in your trust property. Depending on the extent of your assets, this might not be a long process. However, if you own several parcels of real estate, rental property, boats, cars, etc., plus stocks, bonds and various bank accounts, it could take several days to prepare a complete list.
Implementing the Trust
Once you have provided your attorney with a list of your assets, along with the names of your intended beneficiaries, the trust document can be created. Once that is completed, copies of the executed trust need to be distributed to your bank, investment brokers or other financial institutions so that you certain property can be re-titled in the name of the trust. Real estate is transferred by issuing quit claim deeds, which are also drafted by your estate planning attorney. This process can also take several weeks, again depending on the extent of your trust assets.
The use of pay-on-death accounts for simple estates
If all of your assets take the form of cash in one bank account, then a revocable trust could reasonably be created within just a few minutes. All you need to do is simply add the names of your chosen beneficiaries as “pay-on-death” beneficiaries to your existing bank account. This effectively turns your accounts into revocable trust accounts. Ultimately, upon your death, your heirs need only claim the money from the bank, without going through the probate process.
If you have questions regarding power of attorney, or any other estate planning needs, please contact the Schomer Law Group either online or by calling us at (310) 337-7696.