Trusts

Frequently Asked Questions

When it comes to estate planning, Trusts are essential legal tools that can help simplify the transfer of assets to beneficiaries without going through probate. Trusts are legal entities that hold assets for the benefit of a named individual or group of individuals, and a grantor establishes them during their lifetime or after their passing. The grantor can dictate how to distribute assets, who receives them, and when they receive them. This makes Trusts an important part of any estate planning strategy.

Types of Trusts

We can categorize trusts into three types: revocable, irrevocable, and living. Each type of Trust serves a specific purpose in estate planning.

Revocable Trusts
A Revocable Trust, also known as a Living Trust or Grantor Trust, is a flexible estate planning tool that allows the grantor to retain control over their assets while they’re alive and have those assets transferred to their beneficiaries upon their passing. The grantor can change the terms of a Revocable Trust at any time or revoke it altogether if they wish.

Irrevocable Trusts
As the name suggests, an Irrevocable Trust cannot be modified or revoked once established. The grantor transfers assets to the Trust, and the trustee distributes those assets to the beneficiaries according to the terms established in the Trust. An Irrevocable Trust offers specific tax benefits; these include reducing the grantor’s tax liability and protecting assets from creditors and lawsuits.

Living Trusts
A Living Trust is a type of Revocable Trust that allows for transferring assets to beneficiaries without going through probate, saving time and money. Additionally, Living Trusts allow for greater control over asset distribution and can include provisions for the grantor’s medical care and end-of-life wishes.

Benefits of Setting up a Trust

There are many benefits to establishing a Trust as part of your estate planning strategy, including:

Avoiding Probate
By transferring assets to a Trust, you can avoid the probate process, which can be lengthy and costly.

Privacy
Unlike a will, which becomes a matter of public record, a Trust provides greater privacy for your beneficiaries.

Control
By establishing a Trust, you retain control over how your assets are distributed and can ensure they’re used as you intended.

Tax Benefits
Trusts offer specific tax benefits, including reducing the grantor’s tax liability and protecting assets from creditors and lawsuits.

Flexibility
Trusts are flexible legal tools that can be customized to fit your individual needs and circumstances.

How to Create a Trust in 6 Steps

Step 1: Establish a Clear Purpose for the Trust

The first step in creating a Trust involves determining the reason or purpose for including this legal tool in your estate plan. Consider what you want to achieve, such as minimizing taxes, protecting certain assets, or providing for a disabled family member. By establishing a clear purpose, you will be able to choose the right type of Trust and implement a plan that meets your unique goals.

Step 2: Select the Right Type of Trust for Your Needs

Once you have established the purpose of the Trust, you must select the right type of Trust to meet your needs. As mentioned earlier, there are several different types of Trusts, including Living Trusts, Irrevocable, and Revocable Trusts. Each type has its unique advantages and disadvantages based on the specific goals you want to achieve. We at Daigle Law Office can help you determine which type of Trust will work best for your situation.

Step 3: Name the Trustees and Beneficiaries of the Trust

The next step involves naming the trustees and beneficiaries of the Trust. The trustee is responsible for managing the trust assets and distributing funds according to the terms of the Trust. The beneficiaries are the individuals who will benefit from the Trust, and they can include family members, charities, or other organizations. You can also include detailed instructions regarding how the trust funds should be distributed.

Step 4: Secure Assets to Be Included in the Trust

For a Trust to be effective, you must transfer your assets into it. This typically involves creating a list of assets to include in the Trust and then transferring ownership to the Trust. This can be a complex process and may require the assistance of a qualified estate planning attorney to ensure that it is done correctly.

Step 5: Set up Provisions for How and When Capital Will Be Distributed

The next step involves setting up provisions for how and when to distribute Trust funds to beneficiaries. This can include specifying the circumstances under which distributions can be made, such as when a beneficiary reaches a certain age or when they have a specific need. It can also involve placing restrictions on distributions, such as limitations on the amount of funds that can be distributed at one time.

Step 6: Draft and Sign a Legal Document to Create the Trust

The final step involves drafting and signing a legal document to create the Trust. This document will include all the details related to the Trust’s purpose, type, trustees, beneficiaries, and provisions for distribution. It will also include other important information, such as who will manage the Trust if the trustee can not do so.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Trustee

Choosing the right trustee for your Trust is crucial to its success. Here are some common mistakes to avoid:

– Choosing someone who is not trustworthy or capable.
– Choosing someone who is not willing to serve as a trustee.
– Choosing a family member who may have a conflicting interest.
– Choosing someone who is not financially savvy

Costs Associated with Setting up a Trust

The cost of setting up a Trust can vary depending on the complexity of the Trust and the services provided by the attorney. You should expect to pay anywhere from several thousand to tens of thousands of dollars to set up a Trust. However, the cost of setting up a Trust is well worth it when you consider the benefits it provides.

Trusts are essential legal tools that can help simplify the transfer of assets to beneficiaries and ensure they carry out your wishes according to your estate planning goals. Whether you’re looking to avoid probate, protect your assets from creditors and lawsuits, or establish greater control over your estate, a Trust is an essential tool to consider. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you establish a Trust that fits your unique needs.

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