When you start to prepare a Living Trust, there are a lot of important decisions to make. In fact, thinking about what to write in your Living Trust is generally harder than constructing the actual document. You want to make careful and deliberate decisions with respect to your children, business, and assets. Remember: if it seems hard now, it’s worth it for the family you’ll leave behind. These are not decisions you want left to the probate court, attorneys or the state.

Selecting the Appropriate Successor Trustee
One of the most important decisions to be made when creating Revocable Living Trust is your determination of which person or persons should administer your Living Trust when you die. Typically, your children are the most obvious choices to act as Successor Trustee of your Living Trust when you die. Why? The kids have the greatest vested interest in your Trust: they are typically the beneficiaries and the people most knowledgeable of your affairs.

Discuss your decision with your children if you are comfortable with that proposition. Most parents do not discuss estate planning matters with their children. There are many reasons for this: privacy, concern about beneficiary choices, etc. However, the best estate plan in the world is the on where the kids are knowledgeable about their parent’s estate plan and intended choices regarding disposition.

Choosing the Beneficiaries of your Living Trust
The most common types of beneficiaries are familiar faces: your spouse, children, extended family or favorite charities. If you’re married, control and ownership of your assets are maintained by your surviving spouse. In the event of both you and your spouse’s passing, your kids then step into your role as the Trustees of the Living Trust..

Still, it’s important to plan for those unexpected, “what if” scenarios. You could die at the same time. Or you could be remarried. You may want assets from a previous marriage to go to your children, not your new spouse. Put these items in writing now so your wishes are known and available to your heirs after you die.

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