Living Trust Attorneys
What is a Living Trust Attorney?
A living trust attorney is an attorney that specializes in living trusts, also known as inter vivos trusts. A living trust is a trust that is created while the creator is still alive.
A living trust permits the individual creating the trust, also called the grantor, and the individual receiving the benefits of the trust, also called the beneficiary, to avoid probate. Probate is a process of distributing an individual’s estate after they pass away.
Probate can be costly and take a long amount of time to complete, making your loved ones wait to receive their inheritance. A living trust attorney can help you ensure your assets are distributed according to your wishes.
When creating a living trust, an individual is appointed to manage the funds or property in the trust. This individual is called a trustee. In some cases, you can be the trustee of your own living trust and manage the assets yourself.
There are many advantages to a living trust, including:
- Avoiding probate of certain property in a will;
- A reduction of estate taxes and other costs; and
- Establishing long-term property management.
The laws that govern living trusts vary from state to state. Your attorney can advise you on local laws and how a living trust can be used to your advantage.
Why is it Important to Have a Living Trust Lawyer?
It is essential to have a living trust lawyer assisting you in creating your living trust. As previously noted, the laws vary by state. A lawyer will ensure that your living trust is created correctly and will be valid so your loved ones can receive property according to your wishes.
Your living trust lawyer can also advise you on what types of property can be placed in your trust. Your lawyer will provide you with guidance on choosing a trustee for your trust as well.
If your goal is to avoid the probate process by transferring property into the living trust before your death, your lawyer will be able to help. All assets placed in your living trust will pass to the recipients outside of the probate process.
The individual appointed to manage the trust after your passing is called the successor trustee. They are responsible for transferring ownership to the named beneficiaries in the trust.
The process of transferring the trust property to the beneficiaries is typically swift. There are no fees involved in the process. Once the trust property is transferred to the beneficiaries, it will cease to exist as its purpose has been fulfilled.
What are Some Other Issues Related to Living Trusts?
A living trust is not much more complex than a will. Living trusts are very flexible, as many different types of property can be placed in a living trust. The man differences between a will and a living trust that you should consider when determining if a living trust is right for you are as follows:
- Drafting and maintaining a living trust may take more of your time than writing a will;
- Attorneys’s fees for living trusts can be higher than fees for creating a will;
- Individuals with large estates may save a lot of money by using living trusts, as they can be used to help avoid certain types of taxes;
- Older Individuals who are more likely to pass away within 10 years may find that a living trust allows them to control the distribution of their property in a direct manner;
- A will may be more appropriate for younger individuals who are not at the end of their life expectancy; and
- Wills are a fine way to distribute your property if you do not have a large estate or many valuable assets, whereas a living trust may be better to manage a larger estate with more assets.
Your living trust attorney can further explain the details and differences between wills and living trusts. It is important to ensure you are using the best tools for your unique situation.
Do You Need a Living Trust Lawyer for Your Case?
It is important to have a living trust lawyer assisting you in creating your living trust. As noted above, the laws vary by state and your lawyer will ensure your living trust complies with local laws.
Your living trust lawyer can also advise you regarding what property to place in the trust and what the consequences of that will be. For example, your lawyer can explain any tax consequences and the difference between using a living trust and creating a will.
A living trust is often included in an estate plan. In most cases, a living trust attorney is also familiar with other aspects of estate planning, such as wills. Your lawyer will be able to advise you on the best estate plan to limit your tax liabilities. Your attorney can ensure you have created an estate plan that suits your needs and the needs of your loved ones.