Revocable Living Trusts

A Revocable Living Trust or Revocable Inter Vivos Trust is a contractual arrangement where a person (you) transfers his/her assets to a person known as the Trustee who agrees to own, administer and distribute the assets to the designated beneficiaries according to the written agreement known as the Trust.  Usually, the transferor (grantor and settlor are other names used) is the Trustee for him or herself during his or her lifetime.  When it is done in this way, it permits total control over the assets by the transferor during his or her lifetime.

The Trust Agreement is essentially a “bucket” into which you place your assets while retaining all control over them.  You retain the right to change the terms of the agreement or revoke it all together.  It does not become irrevocable until your death.  All income tax consequences “pass-through” and you use your own social security number.  No special tax return is required for such a “Grantor Trust.”

The reasons for establishing a Revocable Living Trust are many:

∙ Avoid Probate: Assets which you have transferred and which are held in the name of the Trustee (you as the trustee of your trust) are not subject to probate upon your death.  This assists you and your beneficiaries in a number of ways.

∙ Avoid the expense and delay that probate proceedings cause to your beneficiaries/heirs.

∙ Protect your privacy.  You would not discuss your savings account balance with your neighbors today, yet during probate, your financial details become a matter of public record.

∙ Minimize Estate Taxes.  Depending on your economic circumstances, a properly drafted revocable trust can save significant estate taxes which is important given the maximum rates of 55%.

∙ Optimize the marital deduction and the unified credit for tax purposes. Depending on the size of your estate, it will be important for you to assure that your unified credit deduction is not lost.

∙ Avoid Conservatorship Proceedings.  A trust may provide that the successor trustee can manage the assets and provide for the care of the grantor when the grantor becomes incapacitated or incompetent.

∙ Ruling from the grave.  A Trust allows the Grantor to maintain influence over the use and investment of the wealth that he or she created.

∙ Protect for special circumstances.  Second marriages and new families provide unique circumstances for which planning is necessary to protect them and the first family.

A properly drafted and properly funded Revocable Living Trust can allow you to retain control during your lifetime over your assets while providing for administration of those assets during your disability and at death.  It can optimize your estate tax deductions and credits.

  • RSS Feed
  • Google+
  • Facebook
  • Twitter


Linda E Wasielewski
attorney & mediator
3199 Logan Valley Road
Traverse City, MI 49684
Phone: (231) 933-0829


Linda has provided me with expert legal assistance from estate planning to personal counseling. I highly recommend her!
Linda's standards and ethics are the driving force behind her work! She is easy to work with and very accountable with regard to personal and secure matters. Her abilities are far reaching and because of that I will always choose not only work [...]
Linda puts her clients' best interests first and foremost. Her knowledge of estate planning law is extensive and Linda promotes basic planning tips. I would recommend Linda for any of your legal needs.
Linda is knowledgable, organized and professional. She can be counted on to be dependable and get the work done. She has the right mix of professionalism mixed with a good sense of humore and balance.
Linda is a wealth of knowledge and expertise when it comes to Estate Planning and Probate matters. She is quick, efficient and thorough. Linda is an especially skilled professional because she can talk about legal matters without making her [...]
Linda was quick to respond to our questions, and followed through on a timely basis. We would highly recommend Linda's services.
I have used Linda as an attorney personally and professionally. I have been able to trust Linda with the many families that I have had the opportunity to work with over the past 5 years. I trust that she will be sensative, helpful and generous [...]
Linda is an intelligent, knowledgeable and compassionate woman. She is an excellent attorney who works diligently for her clients. In the courtroom the judges and other attorneys respect her. Linda is active in the community and enjoys working [...]
Linda provided wills for my husband and me. They include Health information,living will and power of attorney and executor for each of us. She did a great job and we are happy to reccomend her. She has much knowledge in this (Estate)and other [...]
Linda is a pleasure to work with, she is knowledgeable and helpful.
It is with great pleasure that I recommend Linda Wasielewski. I have known her for three years. Linda has always displayed a high degree of integrity, responsibility, and ambition. She is definitely a leader rather than a follower. She is [...]
Linda is a part of our UBS Financial Services Attorney Network. I recommended her to one of my UBS clients who lives in Michigan. She did a great job for my clients and we are all very pleased.
Linda is a true professional and gives very forward thinking and consultative advice. She was instrumental in assisting us in setting up a limited liability corporation. She is an expert in many areas of the law, from business incorporations to [...]
Linda is a very professional and thoughtful attorney in Traverse City, Michigan. She is well respected in our community and I would refer any of my customers to her for their legal needs.