Trusts are an essential part of a complete estate plan. While many people are under the impression that you need to have a large estate to benefit from setting up a trust, the reality is that trusts can create security for assets of any size.
Navigating trust law and your legal options can be a dizzying ordeal. Luckily, Trust Lawyer Gerald Winters has over 20 years of experience in the field and is ready to answer any concerns you may have.
Below, you can find answers to some of the most common questions my clients have about trusts:
What Is A Trust?
A trust is a legal vehicle that gives a person (the grantor) the ability to place their assets under the protected control of a third party (the trustee) for the benefit and use of someone else, typically a loved one (the beneficiary).
For example, an elder grandparent may place assets into a trust that can be distributed by a trustee to their grandchild after their passing in a manner that honors their wishes.
Trusts are especially useful for those looking to avoid probate and can help to minimize hefty estate taxation. There are many different types of trusts, and a number of options are available to each person, depending on their situation and their goals for the future of their estate.
What Are The Common Types Of Trust In Texas?
The three most common types of estate planning trusts are Living Trusts which can function in the form of a Revocable Trust or an Irrevocable Trust.
A Living Trust is created and added to while the grantor is still living. They are managed by a trustee who has a legal fiduciary responsibility to care for the trust in a way that reflects the best interests of the trusts’ beneficiaries. Living trusts are one of the most effective ways to mitigate taxation and avoid probate as they allow grantors to transfer assets out of the control of their estate.
A Revocable Living Trust can be altered or completely dissolved at the complete discretion of the grantor at any point during their lifetime. Assets within this type of trust will not need to go through probate; however, they are included in the estate for tax purposes.
An Irrevocable Trust cannot be altered in any way after its creation. Therefore, the terms, named beneficiaries, and assets put into the trust will remain unchanged and are not legally adjustable. The benefit of this is that it removes all assets placed within the trust out of the grantor’s estate and provides much more favorable tax protection than a Revocable Living Trust.
Many factors will determine which trust will work best to secure your estate. Speaking with a living trust attorney can provide you with the expertise you need to make a confident decision about your preparation for the future.
Who Can Be Appointed A Trustee?
There are many different types of trusts, and therefore, the trustee you choose to appoint may change in accordance with the purpose of your trust and the goals you have for the future of your estate.
Commonly, appointed trustees are dependable friends or family members. However, you may also choose to appoint a professional, such as an attorney or accountant, as a trustee.
Trustees oversee the disbursal of the assets within a trust. The terms by which the assets in a trust will be distributed will be legally documented and are part of a trust formation.
When deciding who you will appoint as a trustee, there are many considerations to be made that will be entirely unique to your personal circumstances and goals. Therefore, the best way to determine the type of trust you should create and who may best fulfill the role of trustee is to speak with a legal professional.
As you are setting up a trust, an attorney will have the insight and expertise needed to advise you on your options and help you to find a trust structure that can give you the confidence that your wishes are legally secure.
Do I Need An Attorney If I Am The Beneficiary Of A Trust?
If you have been named the beneficiary of a trust, you don’t necessarily have an immediate legal need for an attorney. However, there are many situation that can arise that may make it necessary for you to retain the services of a trust beneficiary rights lawyer.
If you are concerned about the validity of a trust, the actions of a trustee, or simply need help to understand what your role and gifts will be under the trust, you should consider speaking with a lawyer.
Regardless of whether or not you may need to take legal action, an attorney can help to answer any questions you may have and address every concern that arises along the way.
Winters Law Firm
I am proud to offer comprehensive services for everyone looking to include the benefits of a trust in their estate plans. Through my compassionate service and dedication to clients, Winters Law Firm has earned a reputation as a top law firm for trusts in Round Rock, TX.
If you are looking to speak with the best trust attorney for your needs, please don’t hesitate to call our office for an initial consultation today!
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