FAQ About Revocable Living Trust (RLT) in Virginia

  • What is an RLT?

    Generally, a vehicle for estate planning to avoid probate, guardianship and conservatorship, while preserving family wealth.

  • What is the difference between a RLT and irrevocable trust?

    As a general rule, an irrevocable trust cannot be changed and often control over the trust is granted from the trust maker to a 3rd party. RLTS are very flexible, the terms can be changed and the maker of the trust can end it any time he or she wants.  

  • How is a RLT different from a will?

    A RLT is active and serves its maker upon being funded. A RLT can aid the maker during his or her lifetime and can dispose of assets outside of probate after the maker dies. Wills are only used to dispose of the maker’s PROBATE ASSETS (assets owned by the decedent in his or her OWN NAME with NO co-owner and NO beneficiary listed).

  • What are the benefits of having a trust?

    Use of a RLT allows you to avoid probate, provide easier estate administration, is private (not public) among other pros.

  • Can changes be made to my living trust after death?

    No. After death the RLT is irrevocable.

  • Will placing my home in a living trust impact my mortgage?

     It may. It is advisable to obtain permission or otherwise notify your lender if and when you are considering a RLT.

  • Where do I file a RLT?

    You do not. It is private. However, when funding a RLT, you must change ownership to the RLYT and the institution holding your assets (bank, brokerage etc.) may want to see a copy.

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