Living Trust Lawyer
Living trusts have become popular tools for people who want to save their loved ones from having to deal with the expense and complexity of probate. They can also help in other situations.
To achieve these goals, however, the trust must be set up and funded properly. The Huizenga Law Firm helps people create living trusts with the right terms for their unique needs. In addition, we also help individuals ensure that assets are transferred properly into the trust so that those assets will not need to go through the probate process.
What is a Living Trust?
A living trust is sometimes called an inter vivos trust. The Latin term refers to the fact that the trust is made between living people or while the creator is alive. (Testamentary trusts, by contrast, do not formally come into existence until the creator passes away.)
A living trust is revocable trust, which means the creator can change or cancel it at any time. Someone can create an irrevocable trust during their lifetime, but it is not referred to as a living trust because it cannot be changed.
Some people think of a living trust as something they live with, as opposed to other trusts that are set up to benefit others.
How a Living Trust Works
An attorney prepares trust documents, and that creates a special legal entity that holds property for others. Then the creator of the trust (often called the grantor) transfers property into the trust.
Property owned by a trust is managed by the trustee. The trustee has a fiduciary duty to take care of the property and distribute it to the beneficiary according to the terms of the trust.
With a living trust, the creator also serves as the trustee and the beneficiary. That allows them to manage the property and to receive the benefits of that property just as they did before the property was moved into the trust.
Any property with a title must be retitled in the name of the trust to be transferred into the trust. For instance, a living trust lawyer will usually also prepare a new deed for real estate owned by the creator to transfer that real estate into the trust.
The Benefits of a Living Trust
The creator of a trust usually does not notice much of anything different after they have established the trust and transferred property into it. However, if the creator becomes incapacitated and is unable to make or communicate decisions about the finances, the trust will usually specify that an alternate trustee can step in and manage the trust, which means they can pay bills, and take other actions to keep the creator’s financial affairs in order.
The primary benefit, however, is that when the creator of the trust passes away, the property in the trust does not become part of the creator’s probate estate. That means the property does not need to be held up in complex court proceedings. Instead, it can pass directly to alternate beneficiaries named in the trust agreement. In that sense, the trust functions like a will except that it is more private. A will becomes a public record when it is admitted to probate, but the terms of a trust can remain confidential.
Talk to the Team at the Huizenga Law Firm to Find Out Whether a Living Trust is Right for You
Living trusts can be particularly helpful for people who own real estate in more than one state or anyone who wants to reduce the burden on family members in the future. To find out whether a living trust is the right option for your situation, schedule a consultation with the Huizenga Law Firm today.