How is a revocable living trust different from a last will and testament?

A revocable living trust and a last will and testament are common estate planning tools designed to help people exert control over the way their estate will be administered at death.

Unlike a last will and testament, which is generally structured so that estate assets are fully distributed as soon as practicable, a revocable living trust can “live” for years after the death of the grantor who created the trust.

When you create a will, your assets remain in your name until after your death, when they become assets of your estate. With revocable living trusts, the grantor can choose to “fund” the trust during his or her lifetime, transferring ownership of assets from his or her name as an individual to his or her name as a trustee. Retitling assets into the name of the trust helps ensure smooth trust administration and distribution.

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