As you create or revise your estate plan, you will want to keep in mind how much privacy your current arrangement gives you. Your estate may not contain any assets that would cause scrutiny in the public eye. But the world does not need to know its every detail. By setting up a revocable living trust, your estate’s contents and beneficiaries will remain private.

How revocable trusts work

Your revocable trust will count as part of your estate. Yet, it will remain its own legal entity. This arrangement means the trust, not you, owns any assets you put in it. But so long as you name yourself as its trustee when creating it, you can manage these assets at any time. And if you name yourself the trust’s beneficiary – so long as you name remainder beneficiaries – you can access and use its assets as well.

Why revocable trusts remain private

The privacy benefits your revocable trust offers will come into effect after you pass. Because wills go through probate court, people can look them up through public records. In doing so, they can discover information about its contents and beneficiaries. But revocable trusts disburse outside probate, so these details are inaccessible to the public eye. If there are some you would prefer to keep private, your trust, rather than a will, guarantees this.

If privacy is a concern for you, setting up a revocable trust and a land trust can offer your estate an extra safeguard. Consulting an attorney can help you understand whether creating one makes sense in your situation.