Created during your lifetime, your revocable living trust is your alter ego. Designed to be the minivan of trusts, the revocable living trust carries you, your loved ones, your assets, your pets and all of your baggage along the road of life. It may be amended or revoked at any time while you are competent. Your revocable living trust becomes irrevocable upon your death.

You do not need to be wealthy to use a trust. Most people use a revocable living trust to dictate in advance who will help them with their paperwork and finances if they no longer can handle their affairs, and also to avoid probate. Probate is a court proceeding that transfers the title of your assets after your death.

If you are a private person, a revocable living trust offers you privacy. Wills are public record at your death; the terms of your revocable living trust are not. This can become a very important issue, it is not anyone’s business to whom you leave your money. Make sure that your documents — and the names of those you love — stay out of the public eye.