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How the Uniform Trust Code Affects Your Living Trust

Aug 8, 2008
Do you live in one of the 19 states that have the Uniform Trust Code? I'm not surprised if your response is that you've never even heard of it. However, if you have set up a revocable living trust, you need to know that your legal document was created to meet the terms of your state if it does have a Uniform Trust Code in place. Let me explain how this affects you and what you need to do.

If you have a revocable living trust to help prepare your estate plan, what you've done is to set up your estate so that your trust will avoid probate after your death. Hopefully, you drew this up with an experienced attorney who understands the legalities of this special form of protection. If you're unsure of that (or if the document was created before the code was in place), I strongly advise that you become familiar with the Uniform Trust Code requirements and find an attorney who can review and revise your document to ensure it meets the guidelines.

What Does the Uniform Trust Code Do?

Basically, the Uniform Trust Code shifts some of the rights and privileges that belonged exclusively to the trust creator to the trust beneficiaries. For example, the beneficiaries can ask for accountings or copies of trust documents that might not have been available to them otherwise. The whole point of a trust is to keep your assets private. They are still your assets and are categorized as privileged information.

What do you do if you have a trust that exists in a state with the Uniform Trust Code? One option is to have your trust reviewed by a lawyer who understands the code. Another option is to revise your trust so that it exists in a state that does not enforce the Uniform Trust Code. This can be done as long as the proper wording exists in your trust documents.

People often wonder if they need to find an attorney in their state for these functions. The answer is no. I handle living trusts for clients in numerous states both with the Uniform Trust Code and without it. A living trust attorney who understands the code will be able to advise you on the best choice for your family's needs.

You've taken an important step by setting up a revocable living trust to keep your estate out of probate. Just make sure that you take the next steps to update it as needed and make sure it meets the Uniform Trust Code requirements if they exist in your state.
About the Author
Discover the Secrets of Wealth Preservation as expert estate planning attorney, Steven W. Allen, reveals the proven estate protecting strategies that have been used by the wealthy for centuries. Visit www.LivingTrustDr.com now for more tips and tools to protect your estate from taxes and probate.
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