The need to have a will and other estate documents is widely accepted and practiced in Michigan. As with so many other aspects of modern society, estate planning is full of terms that can almost sound like a foreign language to those trying to make sense of all of the different components. One aspect of estate planning that may create confusion is the use of a revocable trust.

A revocable trust is a document that allows the grantor to continue to control the assets throughout his or her life. This means that one can make changes to the trust as circumstances dictate. Assets can be divided up in whatever way the grantor sees fit. If a beneficiary named in the trust is very young, trustee instructions can be included to control the asset until the child reaches a certain age and if the trust is set up to provide for a person with a disability, the trust management can be set up in such a way that the trustee maintains control but the disabled person’s needs are met.

Additional benefits to a revocable trust are that probate can be avoided. This enables the details of the trust to remain private where probate is a public process. This can provide significant savings if the author owns property in multiple states. Probate would need to be performed in each state where property existed if not protected from probate by a trust. This could involve significant time and expense and would not be private.

A revocable trust can be a very powerful part of an estate plan in Michigan. It is important to remember that comprehensive estate planning is most often made up of many different documents, each serving an important function. Consulting with an attorney experienced in estate planning can help to ensure that one’s final wishes regarding one’s estate will be successfully carried out.