Choosing to establish a Trust for your family is an important decision that requires a bit of planning and time. You have to understand why it is important to open a trust to protect you and your family’s future, you have to decide if you have sufficient assets that warrants opening a trust, and you have to find an attorney you can trust to draft a trust.
First, you have to understand the importance of opening a trust to protect you and your family in the future. A trust is a fiduciary relationship in which one party, the Grantor, gives a second party, the Trustee, the right to hold title to property or assets for the benefit of a third party, the Beneficiary. A properly executed Trust is a non-probate asset, meaning that when the Grantor dies the assets located in the Trust pass by non-probate transfer to the Trustee named in the Trust. In a typical Trust, the Grantor lists the Trust as the beneficiary designation to their assets so that when they pass away the assets automatically go to the Trust. The Trustor then has access to the Trust assets working within the stipulations that the Grantor of the Trust has set forth. This is set forth in the original Trust document drafted by your attorney.
Second, what assets can go into a trust? The typical assets that go into a Trust include all of your bank accounts, real estate property, life insurance policies, stocks, bonds, other investment assets, tangible personal property, limited liability companies (LLC’s,) and cryptocurrency. Some things that do not normally go into a trust are retirement accounts through your job, or any type of IRA from a bank. In order to establish a trust, you must have personal property to put into the trust to initially fund the trust. If you do not have any personal property then a Will might be sufficient for your needs.
Third, if you are thinking that a Trust is what you need then you need to find an attorney to properly draft your Trust. Preparing a Trust is a lot of work on the front end, but it is worth it in the future in order to avoid probate. An estate planning attorney who works with Trusts will have the expertise to draft a proper Trust. The attorney will usually have a consultation meeting to determine what assets you want to put into the Trust, and if you decide to go forward then the attorney will start drafting the Trust. Once the Trust is drafted, you will have to sign your Trust documents to make the Trust funded and official. After the signing of the Trust, it is your responsibility to make sure that the beneficiary designations on bank accounts, stocks, bonds, and insurance policies list the Trust as the designated beneficiary. Also, the attorney will have you sign new deeds for your real estate property in order to put the property in the Trust’s name. This is a critical step because if anything is left out of the Trust then those assets and the property is subject to probate.
There are a lot of factors that go into drafting a Trust document to protect you and your family. But, in the long run it saves your family from putting your assets through probate by allowing them to take control of the assets immediately and saving money on court costs for probate. The attorney’s at Skillern Law Firm PLLC can counsel you on whether setting up a Trust is right for you and your family. It saves time, money, and peace of mind in the future for you and your loved ones. Call the attorney‘s at Skillern Law Firm PLLC today at 918-805-2511.