There are a number of common misconceptions about the estate planning process. One of the most treacherous of all is the notion that all you really need is a will. On the contrary, individuals whose estate planning extends no further than the last will and testament may be leaving their heirs and beneficiaries in a world of legal and financial hassle.
There are various estate planning documents that can augment your will, and lead to a more efficient distribution of your assets. One such document is the living trust. But what is a living trust, exactly? And do you need a living trust attorney to help you create one?
What is a Living Trust?
Let’s start with the basics
A living trust is a document that you can create at any point within your lifetime, designating a person (known as the trustee) to manage your assets. The trustee’s job is to make sure these assets are managed in a smart, responsible way, with the intention of preserving their value for the ultimate beneficiary.
Types of Living Trust
As your living trust lawyer will explain, there are two basic types of living trust: A revocable living trust and an irrevocable one.
- A revocable living trust will allow you to appoint yourself as the trustee, and to make changes to the rules of the trust whenever you want. However, the assets in the estate will also be subject to estate tax burdens.
- An irrevocable living trust will not allow you to serve as your own trustee, nor to make changes to the rules of the trust; however, there are much more significant tax benefits for you and your beneficiaries.
The Benefits of a Living Trust
There are some reasons why it may be helpful to consult with a living trust lawyer, and specifically why it may be valuable to have a living trust and not merely a will.
One of the major reasons to consider a living trust is that it will help you keep your assets out of probate court. With just a will, your estate will surely be scrutinized by the probate court, which can be a time-consuming and expensive undertaking for your beneficiaries. It also means the contents of your estate will be made public.
A living trust helps you avoid this hassle and inconvenience, as well as the breach of your privacy.
Working with Living Trust and Wills Lawyers
Given how beneficial a living trust can be, and the crucial role it can play in your estate planning, we’d generally caution against the DIY approach. Instead, interview living trust and wills lawyers who can provide you with their expertise.
Not only can a good estate planning attorney help you establish the right legal documents, but they can advise you on the type of living trust that’s best suited for your needs and goals. They can also help you with the logistics of finding and training a trustee, setting up bank accounts associated with the trust, and ensuring you’re taking all the available tax advantages.
As you search for a qualified Fremont living trust lawyer, we invite you to contact our team at the Singh Law Firm.
Schedule a Consultation with a Living Trust Attorney
To speak with a wills trusts and estates attorney, schedule a meeting with Singh Law Firm. We’d love to tell you more about the different options available to you, and to make certain that you have the right documents in place for a smooth transfer of assets to your beneficiaries. Contact us whenever you’re ready to chat.