A revocable living trust is often the center of an estate plan. While it’s not all encompassing and is used in conjunction with other ancillary estate planning documents, a trust is incredibly beneficial for most estate planning clients.
Cindy had read several books on estate planning. She did more online research and realized that she and her husband, Jack, needed a revocable living trust. She emailed her CPA and asked for a referral to a qualified estate planning attorney and was pleased to receive an immediate response.
Cindy made an appointment for she and Jack to meet with the estate planning attorney who agreed with her conclusion that they would benefit from an estate plan including a revocable living trust.
After much thought and consultation, the estate plan was designed, drafted, executed, and implemented. Cindy and her attorney were both very good at follow through; Cindy wanted to get everything in order before their third child was born.
Just a few months later, Jack was killed in a work accident. He was electrocuted and never regained consciousness. Cindy called the estate planning attorney who took care of everything so Cindy could focus on her family. He kept Cindy abreast of all actions taken.
Through provisions in the revocable living trust, an asset protected family trust was set up with Jack’s share of the assets. The trust benefited Cindy and her three children. Cindy and the CPA were trustees.
On the way to playgroup just 6 weeks after Jack’s funeral, Cindy was distracted for a moment because the kids were crying and she was still distraught over Jack’s death. She went through a red light and plowed into an SUV containing a family. Everyone in the SUV was killed, but for one child in a car seat.
Lawsuits ensued. All of Cindy’s assets were seized. She and the three children would have been left with nothing but for the family trust which was asset protected and couldn’t be seized in any law suit.
To this day, Cindy is grateful that she and Jack did revocable living trust planning.
John R. Vermillion & Associates, LLC is a member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys.