This will sound so obvious that it should not need saying. But since I am charging you for every word you read in this book, I am going to say it anyway: When you die and both you and your spouse are gone, the Living Trust no longer serves to benefit you. You no longer get the income or principal. You are no longer in charge of the Living Trust assets, whether it’s your half, your deceased spouse’s half, the exemption trust assets, or the survivor’s trust assets. You are no longer the wheeler-dealer of Living Trust assets. You are no longer the surviving lifetime agent. You no longer have standing to sue your lifetime agent if he or she screws up the management of the assets.
While it may seem that your Living Trust in essence died when you died, it does just the opposite—it actually springs to life when you both pass away. In fact, your Living Trust lives on to become one of the last lessons you leave to your children and other heirs. It is the lesson of passing on your lifetime of accumulations—your house, brokerage assets, businesses, bank accounts, personal possessions, pedigreed dogs and cats—to them in a way that preserves family harmony in the inheritance arena.