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Rhode Island Estate Planning Basics: Trusts

Estate planning is not a topic that anyone wants to have with their loved ones; however, it is extremely important to a family’s financial future and should not be avoided or delayed. While the broader topic of estate planning gets complex fairly quickly, the basics of Rhode Island estate planning law are straightforward.

When someone dies, their property goes through what is called the probate process. During the probate process, a person’s assets are all gathered together and placed into an estate. From the estate, taxes are paid, and the deceased’s debts and other liabilities are settled. Whatever remains in the estate will be distributed according to the deceased’s will. In the event the deceased does not have a will, then their property will be distributed according to the Rhode Island intestate laws.

A will distributes the property of the deceased according to their wishes. However, including property in a will does not avoid the probate process, which can be both costly and lengthy. Although not necessary in every case, some individuals may benefit from creating a Rhode Island trust before their death.

What Is a Trust?

A trust is a property right held by one person for the benefit of another person. A trust is created by a settlor, maintained by a trustee, and held for the benefit of the trust’s beneficiaries.

There are several different types of trusts, each with a specific purpose. A few common types of trusts are:

  • Living Trust: a trust created during the settlor’s life for the benefit of another person
  • Testamentary Trust: a trust that is created through an individual’s will
  • Revocable Trust: a trust in which the settlor retains sole control of the trust assets
  • Irrevocable Trust: a trust in which the trustee is given sole control over the trust property

Individuals who hope to avoid the probate process may open a living trust for the benefit of their loved ones once they die. Once property is placed into a living trust, the settlor no longer legally owns the property. Thus, when the settlor dies, the trust assets will not typically go through the probate process.

Of course, Rhode Island trust and estate law is quite complicated and anyone considering drafting a will or creating a trust should consult with a dedicated Rhode Island estate planning attorney for assistance.

Are You in Need of an Attorney?

If you are looking for a dedicated Rhode Island estate planning attorney to assist you in planning for your family’s financial future, contact the experienced team of attorneys at Bilodeau Capalbo for a free consultation. At Bilodeau Capalbo, we assist individuals of varying net worth plan for the future of their family by creating trusts, wills, and planning instruments. We are also experienced in Rhode Island real estate law. To learn more about how we can help you with your situation, call 401-300-4055 today.

See Related Posts:

Rhode Island Intestate Laws and the Importance of Drafting a Will, Rhode Island Divorce Lawyer Blog, December 28, 2018.

Can a Rhode Island Marriage Be Annulled or Declared Void?, Rhode Island Divorce Lawyer Blog, March 4, 2019.

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