It is often best to avoid probate, the court supervised process which makes sure that a deceased person’s assets are properly distributed. The probate process is costly and time consuming (usually 12 -14 months depending on the county). It also is a matter of public record, so your financial affairs become public information.
A Living Revocable Trust is a basic estate planning tool used to avoid probate. A living trust is drafted and assets such as real estate, accounts at financial institutions and other investments are titled in the trust. A trustee (relative, close friend, lawyer or financial institution) is given authority to distribute your assets when you die.
Because the trust is revocable, you can change its terms or get rid of it completely if you like.
For income tax purposes, the living trust has no effect. The income from the assets in the trust is reported on your Form 1040 as are any deductions related to those assets.
Contact your estate planning attorney for more information.