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Many Cleveland residents have probably heard about revocable living trusts. This is because many people, attorneys, financial professionals and others, actively promote them as a way to avoid probate and accomplish other estate planning goals.

To review, a revocable living trust is a document that does most of the work of a will. Instead of creating a will that has to go through the probate process after the author’s death, Ohio residents create this type of trust while alive. They will usually appoint themselves as trustees as well beneficiaries of the trust. As the name implies, they may dissolve, or revoke, the trust at any time.

Because the property is in trust, it will simply fall in to the hands of the next trustee or beneficiary after the creators of the trust die. Hence, there is hopefully no need for a lengthy or public probate process, nor will there be a need to open estates in several jurisdictions should a person, say, hold property in multiple states.

As a word of warning, just creating this type of trust is not enough to avoid routine probate. A person will need to transfer his or her property, or at least the property he or she wishes to pass on, in to the trust so that the trust legally owns it. Moreover, a very simple will is still usually a good idea for a number of reasons.

While revocable living trusts have a number of advantages, they are not necessarily right for every Ohio family. Those interested in exploring these types of trusts as an estate planning option should speak with an experienced attorney to evaluate it.