Revocable trusts help Georgia estate owners maintain control of their assets prior to death. These estate planning tools could ease burdens on relatives if the trust creator becomes incapacitated. While the estate owner is alive, they can be the primary beneficiary and trustee of a revocable trust.

A successor trustee must also be named so that a trusted appointee is ready to step in upon the primary beneficiary’s death or physical or mental disability. If the primary beneficiary has suffered a medical crisis, the successor trustee could draw funds from the trust to pay for the person’s care. A revocable trust that seamlessly transitions decision-making power to a successor trustee spares close relatives the need to petition a probate court to appoint a guardian or conservator. In addition to avoiding probate fees, the trust allows the original trustee and primary benefactor to determine who manages funds instead of leaving the decision to a judge.

The revocable trust can also include provisions for other beneficiaries, like a surviving significant other, children, nieces or nephews. For example, it could provide a surviving spouse or partner with income and a place to live until their passing. At that point, the trust could distribute the remaining assets to other beneficiaries.

For a revocable trust to succeed in meeting goals like these, the benefactor must fund the trust while still alive. An attorney could provide specific information about how to design a trust to meet certain goals, like delaying distributions until a beneficiary reaches adult age or another milestone. Legal counsel could also prepare other estate planning documents like a will and financial and medical powers of attorney.