The details of an effective estate plan will vary from case to case, but it will generally include a power of attorney, a will, medical directives and other legal instruments, such as a revocable trust. Having a revocable trust as part of their estate plan can help Michigan residents address many of the concerns they may have about the management of their estate.

After the grantor of the revocable trust dies, the trust will remain effective forever, ensuring that the grantor’s wishes regarding an estate are honored. If the grantor also serves as the trustee of the trust, the provisions of the trust should have instructions for selecting successor trustees.

Upon the grantor’s death, the revocable trust immediately becomes an irrevocable trust. The provisions of the trust will specify how the distribution of the trust assets should be handled for any beneficiaries.

Another reason to create a revocable trust is to avoid the probate process. Probate is court process that is time-consuming and expensive and can result in heirs waiting a long time to receive the assets that are intended for them. Assets that are placed in the trust will not be required to undergo probate.

Using a revocable trust also provides a measure of privacy over the process of transferring the ownership of assets. Assets that are required to go through a probate estate will be entered into the public record. Families who would prefer to not see their private business made public could use a revocable trust to hold assets so that they will not be subject to probate.

An attorney who practices estate planning may assist clients with determining what type of trust should be included in their estate plan. The attorney may explain how the use of a revocable trust can protect assets, mitigate estate taxes and distribute assets according to a client’s wishes.