Better than a Living Revocable Trust
Revocable trusts, as described in the introduction won't provide any benefit during your lifetime. However, revocable living trusts can shelter you from the probate threat to your wealth and extend control over it after death.
Irrevocable trusts can protect you while you are still alive and provide the same protections after death, and even beyond to further generations. Many other benefits are possible too!
Privacy Without a trust, proceedings are on the public record. Anyone can see a list of assets and the debts accrued. Illegitimate claims may be brought against you and various scam artists may try to prey upon your assets. If you own a business, its records will be exposed to competitors and creditors and management during court actions.
Separation of Ownership
That's where irrevocable trusts really become effective. In essence, once you transfer assets into the trust, they're owned by the trust instead of you. Usually, you will decide to remain in control, but by holding separate ownership, you divide risk into separate safety zones too.
Protection During Your Lifetime
Since the assets are owned by the trust instead of you, attacks on you or other assets or owners do not affect the trust. The court and your attackers do not have any involvement in unrelated assets.
Protection for Multiple Lifetimes
Often, the assets remain in trust for generations, passing control and benefits to new family members as they grow and mature. At your death, only the control and future beneficiaries are modified, instead of the trust disbursing the assets. Disbursement would only un-protect the assets and leave them subjuct to future disputes, attacks, lawsuits, divorce actions, and public review again! Keep the assets in the protected trust!
Lawsuit Avoidance & Protection
Since lawsuits are only against the parties or persons involved, the unrelated assets are still private and still available for credit, sale, income, and other benefits.
Expense Expenses can be paid from the trust for all trust activities to include management, travel, attorney fees, legal filings, research, advertising, sub-contracting, security, and other normal trust activities.
The primary reasons that people fear "irrevocable" trusts are that 1) they are typically unchangable and 2) the trust cannot be revoked.
The solution to these issues is to have powers to revise the irrevocable trust in all important ways. This means that you can buy, sell, modify assets, change management, change beneficiaries, change any actions of the trusts or virtually any rules as needed.
Since you can remove assets from the trust, the remaining irrevocable trust could sit empty forever.
There are limits that need to be adhered to and compliance with language and laws, yet it is done effectively with the proper Private Asset Trust. A properly designed Private Asset Trust is easily managed, and covers all concerns during your lifetime. Because most advanced trusts are only holding a single asset, simplicity and elements of control and benefit are very apparent.
The bottom line: With a irrevocable Private Asset Trust, you still have control over your assets while living. You can name who gets what, where, when, conditions, and you can change your mind whenever you want to.
Still Afraid? Start slow. Create a few trusts, and the transfer documents, wait before recording the transfers while you get comfortable with the expected results. Name yourself as the initial trustee and initial lifetime trust beneficiary. Name your kids as the remainder beneficiaries. You'll get no benefit or protection until you actually transfer the assets, but you can get some experience and comfort while you wait.
You could elect to transfer only a few assets into each trust at first, to become more comfortable. When you get comfortable with the trust concepts, you can then create more trusts, or change them.
The assets MUST be transferred to be protected in the trust. Assets that are NOT transferred are then covered in your Will. If there is no Will; then the state will determine the heirs and pay someone of the court selection to be in control, and act at the court approval over periods of time.
Tax note: Because revocable living trusts aren't permanent, they're tax-neutral. No gift tax is incurred on transfers, but the property remains in your taxable estate and you are taxed on the trust's income.
An irrevocable trust can assign taxes and may allow for lower tax brackets, or privacy of taxes paid by private individuals. Irrevocable trusts can re-assign taxes to almost anyone. You can even assign taxes to one person, and give disbursements to the others.