Letter Re: What Happens When A Spouse Dies?

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Hugh,

I’m responsing to the article “What Happens When A Spouse Dies?” by JEH. The author failed to mention getting a Revocable Living Trust (RLT) to distribute your assets. When a person contacts a lawyer for their will, they ought to ask if the lawyer knows how to prepare an RLT. Each state has different requirements for an RLT, but basically the RLTs are all the same. The RLT allows your assets to be distributed to your heirs TAX FREE and without having to go through probate. It’s a simple document that works along side your will (and in some cases in lieu of a will). The RLT is revocable in case your living situation changes (divorce, death of an heir, or simply if you just change your mind). Your assets must be transferred into the trust, which is kind of a pain, but the results of the RLT are worth the effort. You can go online and print out a boilerplate RLT and fill the blanks in yourself, and this document, when witnessed, is just as legal as one produced by a lawyer. I STRONGLY suggest that everyone with any assets puts those assets into an RLT. You won’t be sorry. – M.C.

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