Estate Planning

What is a Revocable Trust?

Revocable trusts are usually created to do a couple different things:

1 – They create more privacy than you will have in probate

2 – They can avoid probate and can help simplify and streamline the process of transferring assets, particularly if you have a complicated estate or things that are outside of Ohio. They can avoid ancillary probates in every State that you hold an asset in, and they can help create a very easy management system for a trustee if you become incapacitated. So it will kind of almost double a power of attorney because you will have a Trustee and your assets will be in the Trust.

If you become incapacitated, there will be provisions in the Trust as well that will specify how you want things handled and by whom.

Revocable Trust v. a Will

A Revocable Trust will give you the ability to have a little more control over your assets after you pass away than you would have with a will. So it’s not only going to avoid probate, but it can have some provisions setting up additional trusts for family members. So, you can do more than you would if you only have a will.

For example, you can live a certain amount of money to one of your children and, if they get divorced, the money in the Trust will not be shared with the marital assets, and creditors cannot come after that money. You might direct how the money should be spent, in monthly allowances or at a certain age.

In Case Of Divorce 

In a divorce in Ohio, a spouse doesn’t have the right to your inherited property if it’s yours, or your separate property. It is however very, very easy to comingle assets when you live with your partner and, once you start comingling, it gets more complicated to prove that those are separate assets.

If it’s held in a trust, it will be very simple. Your partner will not be able to touch it, and creditors can’t get either. So, you can create creditor protections for children and grandchildren that you could not create very easily for yourself.

A Trust will also allow you to determine who will handle the money or possessions you want to give to your children, should you pass and not want your ex-spouse to make such decisions on your behalf.

The Flexibility of a Revocable Trust 

In a Revocable Trust, you can move things in and out of the Trust, the Trust can go away at any time, you can dissolve the Trust, you can change the Trust, you can put assets in, you can take assets out, but you’re not going to have any creditor protection because if you can reach into the Trust, so can anybody else.

When you die, that Trust will become irrevocable. This is not going to be a Revocable Trust because you were the one to create it, and you can no longer modify it.

Tax Issues with a Revocable Trust in Ohio

In a Revocable Trust, you’re not creating any tax issues because your assets are technically still in your name. Everything stays under your social security number or under your taxes, so you’re not going to be paying any extra taxes for that Trust. In an Irrevocable Trust, because you’re creating this separate entity, it is going to create tax ramifications that could be harmful because the trust tax rates could be different and are often higher than they would be for an individual.

Portage County Estate Planning Lawyer

Attorney Rachel Dodds, Estate Planning lawyer in Portage, Summit and Cuyahoga Counties, can help you gain peace of mind by securing these issues. Consulting with an experienced Estate planning lawyer is essential in making sure that your final wishes regarding your property, your loved ones, and your healthcare options are carried out.

Not all lawyers are created equal. In difficult times, it is important to select a lawyer who can relate to your situation in a very professional and sensible way.

Attorney Dodds has the experience you need to address all your questions regarding wills and probate, trusts, drafting and execution of all legal documents, and estate administration. She is a knowledgeable and compassionate lawyer.

Attorney Dodds is a Member of Weisenburger Law Offices, a law firm in Ravenna, OH, located 5 minutes from the Portage County Courthouse. Our lawyers are dedicated to serving clients in Portage and Summit Counties. Weisenburger Law Offices was created in Portage County in 2000 and our lawyers have been servicing the Portage County community ever since.


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The website is designed for general information only. Any information on this site is not to be construed as formal legal advice from a criminal defense lawyer, a DUIlawyer, a family law lawyer or willsprobatetrusts and estate planning lawyer, nor formation of a lawyer/client relationship. Persons accessing this site are encouraged to seek personal advice regarding their individual legal issues.

The attorneys in our law firm primarily service Portage County courts (Ravenna and Kent), and Summit County courts (Akron, Stow, Barberton). Cases in all other courts in North East Ohio, including Cuyahoga County courts (Cleveland, Garfield Heights, Bedford, Parma, Rocky River etc…) are handled under specific terms and conditions.