Financial & Estate Planning

Revocable trusts, which can be cancelled by the trust creator, have become popular. Assets held in a trust, including a revocable trust, avoid the time and expense of probate. However, there will be time and money involved in creating and administering the trust.


Taking the time and spending the money may be worthwhile, if you live in California, where the probate process is long and expensive. The same may be true if you live in a state in the Northeast. No matter where you live, though, many assets won’t go through probate.

Those assets include retirement plans, jointly-held property, life insurance proceeds, and annuities. The same is true for payable-on-death and transfer-on-death bank and brokerage accounts.

If your net worth is mainly in such assets, there won’t be much to go through probate. You probably won’t need a revocable trust. However, you should make sure you have the proper beneficiary designations for all non-probate assets.