Do we need a revocable trust?August 8, 2012: 6:30 AM ET
My husband and I have been told we need a revocable trust. Why not just a will? — Vicki, Las Vegas
There are several reasons you might want one. You can use a revocable trust (also called a living trust) to set conditions on how your assets are used. Putting assets in a trust speeds up a will's settlement: "It would save a lot of money," says Reno attorney Bradley Anderson. Plus, a trust enables big tax savings, assuming your net worth is in the millions; if the assets of the first of you to die go to a trust, the surviving spouse will have a smaller taxable estate.
That said, setting up a trust is expensive — about $2,800 to $5,000, on average. And a revocable trust — which you can cancel or alter while you're alive — requires retitling your assets. If you think a trust makes sense for you, consult an estate attorney. You can find names in your area at naepc.org.
— Kate Ashford
Got a question for the Help Desk? Send it to email@example.com.