Living Trusts In Your Estate Planning
A trust is an estate planning tool that allows you to set aside assets and property for the benefit of another. Trusts can help to protect assets, but one of the primary benefits of a trust is that it bypasses the probate process.
The estate planning attorneys of Law Office of Alec Harshey can help you set up a trust that is customized to your goals and circumstances. In most cases, this will be a revocable living trust as part of an estate planning package that includes a will and powers of attorney. Our firm also provides follow-through services relating to funding and reporting.
Why Revocable Living Trusts?
A living trust means that you retain control of the assets — and access to those assets — while you are living. Upon death, those assets transfer to the named beneficiary or beneficiaries of the trust. A revocable trust means that you can make changes to the trust at any time after it is created, including adding or subtracting assets, changing the beneficiaries or folding the trust altogether. The advantage of a trust is that the assets pass directly upon death without the added delay and expense of the probate process.
We have created trusts for clients with tens of millions of dollars in assets, as well as clients with more modest estates such as a house or mobile home and their 401(k). Trusts are more versatile than a simple will. For example, you can stipulate the terms of inheritance (age 21, finish college, get married, etc.) or spread out the inheritance over time instead all in one lump sum. We customize it to your asset base and your wishes.
Personal Care And Attention
Every trust must be funded with the assets you wish to place in the trust. This may be cash or physical assets such as real estate. Trusts operate under a complex set of rules and regulations. Our role is to make sure your trust is properly funded and that you follow those regulations. We assist with property transfers and recording of deeds as well as all reporting requirements.
Trusts can be excellent tax-planning tools or used to bypass the probate process. If you establish a trust, you must name a trustee who will act in your beneficiary’s best interests. This person is known as the trustee. He or she will administer the trust and support the needs of the beneficiary.
We help trustees administer trusts and follow the guidelines provided by the creator of a trust. Failure to administer a trust properly can result in legal action against a trustee claiming breach of fiduciary duties. Our clients rely on us to protect their interests and avoid lengthy and costly disputes.
If you have an existing trust and you are unsure about what it accomplishes, we can review it with you and make any adjustments that are necessary.