Trusts are just one of the several documents included in a complete estate plan. It is essential to understand what a trust accomplishes and whether you need other documents to protect your estate and loved ones.
For many people, a trust will be a crucial part of an estate plan. An Altus trusts and estates lawyer could help you and your family achieve peace of mind. Schedule a consultation with a skilled attorney to learn more about how to create a well-designed estate plan.
What is a Trust?
A trust is a legal arrangement that holds a person's assets, with trustees who can control the assets and protect them for the right of beneficiaries. A living trust or revocable trust allows the grantor to keep control of the assets during their life.
At the moment of the grantor's death, the trust is irrevocable, and the assets will go to the beneficiaries. These trusts are separate from irrevocable trusts, which a grantor cannot alter during their life.
There are numerous other forms of trusts which may achieve the grantor's objectives. An Altus estate management lawyer could advise someone about the best types of trusts for their intended purposes.
How Trusts are Different from Wills
Wills can detail a person's wishes for how they want to divide their assets among beneficiaries and outline other important information such as who should serve as a guardian for their minor children. Trusts can serve some similar functions by detailing who will recover what assets. Both documents can state the name of the person who should be administering the estate.
Trusts can help the grantor because it includes terms for handling incapacitation. When the grantor becomes incapacitated, the successor trustee will gain control over the assets and administer them for the grantor's benefit. Without a trust, the court may have to choose and appoint a guardian to take care of such matters.
A trust will also allow the family to avoid the often time-consuming and expensive probate process, and allow beneficiaries to recover their inheritance more quickly. Trusts also offer privacy, in contrast to a will, which is a public document. A local trusts and estates attorney could advise on the best steps to take, given a family's particular circumstances.
How to Create a Trust
One of the first steps in establishing a trust is determining which assets to put in the trust's name. Real property, business interests, and accounts can all be placed into a trust. Sometimes bank accounts may not need to go into a trust to avoid probate, but an attorney could determine whether it is beneficial to include them or not based on the specific facts.
Next, the grantor should decide who will benefit from the trust and name those individuals and a successor trustee. A legal professional could draft the necessary documents. Once the documents are complete, the grantor will have to sign them in front of a notary public.
Creating a trust may not be the only step needed in an estate plan. There are a number of other vital pieces of an estate plan, including a will and a power of attorney.
Gain Peace of Mind with an Altus Trusts and Estates Attorney
Creating an estate plan is a way to protect your loved ones. Taking steps to create a solid plan can avoid family conflict and stress down the road. A lawyer could help talk you through the various available options. Call an Altus trust and estate lawyer to discuss the best way to take care of your family.