There has never been a better time to set up a living trust. Although the future is uncertain, planning your estate will ensure that your and your family’s best interests are protected sooner rather than later. At Gary I. Handin, PA., we have years of experience in estate planning, with expertise in setting up trusts ensuring that your wishes are carried out at all times.
What Are Living Trusts?
Living trusts are trusts that are created during an individual’s lifetime. It is a legal document that expresses your exact desires regarding your assets, your successors and their dependents. Unlike a will, your wishes may be carried out not only upon your death, but also if you lack the necessary capacity to manage your financial, healthcare and legal affairs. The creator of the trust is called the Grantor or the Settlor and their assets are placed into the trust. Upon the Grantor’s passing, the assets held by the trust by the named successor Trustee will be distributed to the prescribed trust beneficiaries. All trust assets are distributed according to the terms of the trust. The trust assets are distributed by the successor, co-trustee or successor trustee – who is often the grantor’s spouse.
Benefits Of Living Trusts
Creating a living trust is a great way to avoid probate proceedings and unnecessary legal fees. Probate is the legal process by which a deceased’s estate is administered. This includes the settling of debts and the administration of assets. By law, probate proceedings must take place before a court of law. Probate proceedings are a matter of public record meaning that anyone’s probate file may be viewed in the records office. Probate proceedings can sometimes be costly and lengthy especially if unforeseen difficulties and legal disputes arise. The deceased’s assets will remain tied up until the probate proceedings have been concluded, dependents of the estate, who desperately need to regain financial support, will therefore be unable to do so until the proceedings have been concluded. A living trust allows for the avoidance of probate proceedings if assets form part of the trust.
A estate lawyer will create living trusts for clients – their expertise in trust law and the process of drawing up and administering trusts will help you design a living trust that is tailored to your unique needs.
Different Types Of Living Trusts
During the estate planning process, you will have to consider which kind of trust would be ideal for your heirs. Trusts may be revocable or irrevocable, each with their own benefits.
- Revocable Trusts allow you to amend, revoke or make additions to the trust during your lifetime. It requires the transfer of your assets into the trust making the trust the owner thereof. You still have control over the assets as a trustee of your trust and would still be able to amend or revoke the trust as you please. Upon your death, the assets in the trust will pass directly to your beneficiaries and no probate proceedings will be required.
- Irrevocable Trusts are less flexible when compared revocable trusts. They may not be amended or revoked from the time which they are made. Once ownership of your assets has been transferred into an irrevocable trust, you have relinquished all control and interest in those assets. The assets would no longer form part of your estate and would not be subject to estate taxes.
Both types of trust are complex entities and require expertise to be set up effectively. Contact Gary I. Handin, P.A., for assistance in all trust-related matters. Our experienced lawyers are reliable, meticulous and reliable. We will ensure that the trust you choose to create will be valid and accurately give effect to your wishes.