10 Common Questions to Ask a Trust Attorney
When it comes to estate planning, trusts provide a multitude of benefits, such as asset protection, probate avoidance, and the assurance of a smooth transfer of wealth to your loved ones.
However, even though approximately six out of ten Americans have a retirement account, only one in three adults have an estate plan, according to Caring.com’s 2023 Wills and Estate Planning Study. To protect those assets, guidance from a knowledgeable trust attorney is essential.
At Hays Firm, we understand the intricacies of trust planning and are here to guide you through the process. In this blog post, we will discuss ten common questions to ask a trust attorney to help you better understand the process and make informed decisions about your estate planning.
What is a trust, and how does it work?
A trust is a legal arrangement in which one person, the trustor, transfers ownership of assets to another person, the trustee, who holds the assets for the benefit of a third person, the beneficiary. It is important for everyone with assets to transfer to understand the concept of a trust.
Many different types of trusts are available, some of the most common include:
- Revocable trusts can be changed or revoked by the trustor at any time.
- Irrevocable trusts cannot be changed or revoked by the trustor once they are created.
- Living trusts are created while the trustor is still alive.
- Testamentary trusts are created in a will and take effect after the trustor dies.
At Hays Firm, our trust attorneys can explain the different types of trusts, their purposes, and how they operate. We can help you determine which type of trust is most suitable for your specific circumstances.
What are the benefits of creating a trust?
A trust offers several advantages when seeking to protect assets. The experienced attorneys at Hays Firm can explain how these benefits align with your goals and help tailor a trust to suit your needs. We will work closely with you to address your needs, such as avoiding probate, protecting assets from creditors, establishing funds for people with special medical needs, maintaining privacy, or minimizing estate taxes.
Some of the many benefits of creating a trust include:
- Avoiding probate: Probate is a court process that is used to distribute a person’s assets after they die. Trusts can help to avoid probate, which can be a time-consuming and expensive process.
- Protecting assets from creditors: Trusts can help protect assets from creditors, including in the event of bankruptcy.
- Providing for children under 18 years of age: Trusts can be used to provide for minor children after the death of a parent.
- Managing assets for incapacitated individuals: Trusts can be used to manage assets for individuals who are incapacitated and unable to manage their own affairs.
- Reducing estate taxes: Trusts can be used to reduce estate taxes.
How do I choose the right trustee?
Selecting the right trustee is important and requires understanding all the information you need to make a decision. Our trust attorneys at Hays Firm can guide you through the process of choosing a trustworthy individual or institution to effectively and responsibly carry out your wishes.
Can I modify or revoke a trust?
Circumstances, such as marriage, divorce, adoption, or out-of-state moves, may change over time, and you may need to modify or revoke your trust. Our trust attorneys at Hays Firm can guide you through the available options and legal requirements to make amendments or terminate a trust, ensuring your estate plan remains flexible.
How can I protect my assets with a trust?
Asset protection is a significant consideration in estate planning. Since our trust attorneys specialize in this area, we can discuss with you the ways a trust can shield your assets from potential risks, such as lawsuits, creditors, or divorces, ensuring your wealth is preserved for future generations.
How does a trust help with incapacity planning?
Incapacity planning is important because it makes sure your wishes are carried out if you become unable to make decisions for yourself. At Hays Firm, we will explain the ways a trust can be structured to provide for your care, manage your assets, and designate a successor trustee in the event of incapacity.
What is the role of a successor trustee?
In the event of your incapacity or passing, a successor trustee assumes the responsibility of managing the trust. A trust attorney can clarify the duties and responsibilities of a successor trustee and help you choose the right person for this crucial role.
How can a trust help with charitable giving?
If you have philanthropic goals, a trust can be a powerful tool for charitable giving. Our trust attorneys can explain various charitable trust options, such as charitable remainder trusts or charitable lead trusts. They can help you create an appropriate trust structure that aligns your desires in a manner that will make the strongest positive impact.
What is the difference between a revocable and an irrevocable trust?
Understanding the distinctions between revocable and irrevocable trusts is important in estate planning. A trust attorney can explain the advantages and disadvantages of each type and help you determine which one best suits your needs and objectives.
How can I ensure my trust is properly funded?
Funding your trust is a critical step to ensure its effectiveness. A trust attorney can provide guidance on transferring assets into the trust and help you review and update the titling of your assets to align with your estate planning goals.
Consulting with a trust attorney is crucial for a well-rounded estate planning process. By asking these common questions, you can gain a deeper understanding of trusts and make informed decisions. Remember, every individual’s situation is unique, so it’s important to seek personalized advice from a trust attorney.
At Hays Firm, we have a team of experienced trust attorneys who can provide the expertise you need. We understand that estate planning can be complex, and our goal is to guide you through the process with clarity and transparency. With our knowledge of trust law and attention to detail, we can help you create a tailored trust that aligns with your goals and protects your assets.
If you’re ready to embark on your estate planning journey, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our trust attorneys are dedicated to assisting you in creating a comprehensive trust plan that ensures the smooth transfer of your wealth and the protection of your legacy.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step toward securing your future and the future of your loved ones.