\Estate planning can provide benefits for you and your loved ones, but it does come with a lot of terminology which you may find unfamiliar or intimidating. One such estate planning vocabulary term could be “living trusts,” also known as, inter-vivos trusts. These estate planning tools can help during your lifetime and allow your assets to pass to your beneficiaries with greater ease.

What is an inter-vivos trust?

The title does give it away, as “inter vivos” loosely means “between the living.” This type of trust is active while the trustor is living. It benefits the trustor and the trust beneficiaries because they can access trust assets. Plus, inter-vivos trusts offer your family the benefit of skipping probate.

Are there different types of living trusts?

Revocable and irrevocable trusts are two main subsets of inter-vivos trusts under Kentucky law, and each has its pros and cons. Revocable trusts offer greater flexibility for the trustor because the trustor can access and use assets in the trust, if needed. They can modify beneficiaries, change the assets contained within the trust or eliminate the trust entirely.

What is an irrevocable trust?

Irrevocable trusts are less flexible. Once crafted, trusts shield assets from lawsuits and estate taxes, but those assets are not available to the trustor. They remove the trustor as owner of the assets, granting ownership to the trust, or legal entity.

Personalize your estate plan

Both trusts can ensure assets pass to the beneficiaries, but each offers the creator and beneficiaries different benefits and drawbacks. Wills are another option available to your family, but please note wills do not bypass probate proceedings.

You do not have to estate plan alone

Is a trust a promising idea for your estate plan? Do you need a living will? An estate planning attorney can help you navigate these uneasy questions. Discuss your desired outcomes and create a plan that works for you and your family’s needs.