This Article Written for Willhoite Law, PLLC
Thinking about the end of life decisions is not easy but it is essential. The thing that is worse than having to consider these decisions is to not have considered them at all and to leave your family not only grieving your loss but also with a huge legal confusion on their hands. Getting your trust and estate management documents in order is not always an easy process but it has to get done.
Let’s first look at exactly what a trust is and how it can apply to you and make the probate process easier. The legal definition of a trust is that one part holds the property for the benefit of another. In layman’s terms, this means that all of your assets are held by a 3rd party who will carry out your wishes on what you want to be done with them after your death. Setting up a trust is a great way to guarantee there is little to be debated after you are gone.
The biggest benefit of using a trust and the reason most people choose a trust is that it can make it so your estate does not have to go through a probate process. This can vary from state to state but in most states, because the property is not actually in your name when you die you can completely avoid the probate process. This can take a lot of pressure off any family members who are dealing with your property. The trust attorney can help you in creating a trust to hold the property that would go to heirs later.
You can put the real, tangible and impalpable property in a trust. The person who manages the trust for you is called a trustee. You will have to transfer any property you want in the trust out of your personal name and into the name of the trust managed by the trustee. Trustees can be anyone but many times it is an officer of a bank or financial institution that is charged with holding your property and distributing it.
Trusts are critical to protecting your assets and the long-term financial well-being of your family after you are deceased. And though right will serve their purpose, they are often not effective when it comes of dealing with complicated issues like step-children, grown child dependents, second marriages, charitable donations and other family situations that can make estate planning hard. Remember, protecting your wealth and the financial well-being of your family is about a lot more than simply dividing up your assets. It’s about providing for your family members in a way that’s responsible and speaks in detail to your situation.
Most people assume that estate planning and trusts are only for the extremely wealthy or people who need to lower their tax rates, but that’s not true. Trust is an amazingly flexible estate planning tool that can address a wide range of estate issues. Setting up a trust will involve the assistance and services of a trust attorney. By consulting a legal professional, this person can help you create a trust that speaks to your specific heir’s needs.
If your heir is disabled, either mentally or physically, trust is essential for protecting their well-being after you have passed. Unfortunately, these trusts can be very complicated as the money paid from a basic trust will often be counted as income, therefore disqualifying the disabled person for government aid or Medicaid. Instead, a special-needs trust will protect your heir’s eligibility for financial assistance, but continue to provide support. It will also legally protect the inheritance from potential squandering or mismanagement. In short, estate planning and trusts can help address a number of family issues but do not ignore your own inevitable mortality.
A trust fund conjures up images of wealthy young people who have never worked a day in their life, but this is a complete stereotype. Anyone with assets to pass on can create a trust to hold the property for their heirs. Trust attorney at Willhoite Law, PLLC can explain trusts in greater detail but, basically, a trust provides the deceased with the ability to determine how money is to be spent after they are gone. Trusts are the perfect solution if you want to ensure that your heirs finish college before the money is distributed or if you want to space out the distributions so the heir is not provided with one large lump sum of cash.
These documents are not the only ones that trust attorney can help with. Make a list of your assets and then talk with an attorney to see which documents they recommend for your specific situation. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for estate planning or create trust. Attorneys who help with this specific type of planning for the future should be consulted before making any decision that affects your families or heirs.
Hiring a trust attorney is a very good decision for a person who wants to create a trust to hold the property that will go to their heirs later. A trust attorney can help you put all your assets in place so that the inheritance procedure will be more convenient for your legal heirs or assignees. So there is an advantage to hiring one who has had vast experience in this field. Estate law is highly specialized, and a general attorney may not be too detail-oriented to tackle the intricacies involved in the process.
There may be a lot of attorneys who claim they can do the job, but it is advisable not to be too quick on your decision to hire the first one who sits down with you. If you look through your local phone book, you will see a number of trust attorney listed in the yellow pages. Almost all of them will tell you they can handle trust cases, but here’s a valuable grain of truth. Any attorney who claims he can serve you in the various fields of law is probably not telling the truth. Or if he is, he may not be an expert on any of the various fields of law. Before hiring an attorney, you should do a background check on his professional abilities. This can be easily done by looking at the total number of heir trust cases he has handled in the past. Also, look at his success ratio. You should only hire an attorney for a trust case if you are satisfied with his track record.