Quick Overview of Living Trust Law
The Living Trust, as it is commonly called is, in fact, an Inter Vivos Trust which means the trust will exist only during the lifetime of the Trust Maker (Trustor). There is an exception to this lifetime provision when the trust is continued after the death of the Trustor for the benefit of one or more beneficiaries (heirs) by reason of age or other conditions. There are two types of Living Trust, “Revocable” and “Irrevocable.” A Revocable Living Trust is one that can be revoked at any time by the Trustor. The Irrevocable Living Trust is one that cannot be revoked without written consent of the beneficiaries. Even though the title to the trust property is in the name of the Trustee (usually the Trustor), no authority or power to control the property is lost since any action the Trustor could engage in as the sole owner of the property is readily available to her/her as the Trustee under the Terms of the Trust. In other words, a Living Trust is a vehicle that can be legally operated or legally aborted at the will of the Trustor or Trustors, while fully preserving an estate that will pass to his or her heirs without the necessity of a cumbersome and costly probate.
A “pour-over” will is necessary to distribute any property that is acquired in the name of the grantor after the living trust was established, or any property that was not transferred into the trust in the first place.
The use of “pour-over,” together with a living trust ensures that assets not held in trust will be distributed in accordance with the wishes of the deceased, and not by the laws of intestacy.
A Power of Attorney gives a person the legal authority to act on your behalf in the financial matters of your choice. A Power of Attorney may be limited to a single purpose such as the sale of a home or may be expanded to include additional matters.
As s competent adults, we have the right to make decisions in advance as to whether or not we would like to decline life support when it is clear that death is imminent or a state of coma becomes permanent. Today, life support systems can keep an individual’s body alive for years, even if the brain is no longer functioning or the person is in constant pain.
A living will is a document which lets you decide whether or not to be kept on artificial life support. Often, these documents also appoint someone to make important health care decisions on your behalf in case you are unable to do so.