What is a Revocable Trust?

A revocable trust or “living trust” is a term used to describe a trust that you create in your lifetime. A living trust helps you manage assets, or protect your interests should you become ill or incapacitated by disability or age. Trusts are usually written in such a way that you can amend them or revoke them whenever you choose to do so.

Why should you have a revocable trust as a part of an estate plan?

Some reasons you might consider including a revocable trust in your estate plan are:

  • Mental Disability: assets in a revocable trust when someone becomes mentally incapacitated and requires their trustee to manage him or her rather than a court-supervised guardian or conservator. You might wonder how to PLAN for a mental disability, but it makes a lot of sense when you consider the possibility of a dementia diagnosis.
  • Avoiding Probate: When assets are in a revocable trust, the trust becomes irrevocable after the person’s death. The assets will be transferred directly to the beneficiaries upon the death and will avoid the probate process altogether.
  • Privacy: When people avoid probate, the trust agreement is a private document rather than public record, and all of the details of both your assets and your beneficiaries is kept secret as well.


The amenability is an incredibly beneficial aspect to a revocable trust and also puts it in a different category for tax consequences. Because you can change the terms of the trust or completely revoke it all together the assets in the trust are still considered part of the estate and are taxed as such rather than an irrevocable trust that can be used to avoid tax consequences.

Estate Planning Help in Sonoma County

If you live in Sonoma County considering your own estate plan, contact the law office of Charles Stark by phone at 707-527-9900 or fill out our online contact form. We have over 40 years experience in family law and estate planning. We are able to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of a revocable trust as well as other aspects of your estate plan to find the best option for your unique needs.

Contact Us

Sorry. This form is no longer accepting new submissions.