Living Trust Attorney
If you have assets that you wish to pass on after your death, you should speak with a living trust attorney about your legal options. A living trust can allow you to transfer possession of your property while avoiding the difficult probate process. However, you must follow laws that address how you create a living trust.
What Is a Living Trust?
A “living trust” is one that you create while you are still alive. This differs from one that you may create through a will after your death.
A trust is an arrangement usually created by a document, through which a trustee controls property for a beneficiary. The trustee is the legal title holder and may be the original owner who created the trust, or it may be another person. The beneficiary is the person who will eventually receive the title to the property. A person may be the trustee of their own trust. This allows you to maintain control over your own property until it transfers to the beneficiaries.
Why Should I Create a Living Trust?
A living trust allows you to allot property to beneficiaries prior to your death. Upon your death, that property will be automatically transferred. This avoids the lengthy and sometimes costly probate process.
Probate is a court-supervised process that involves using your assets to pay debts and distribute assets to heirs. It also involves paying taxes on your estate. Probate often takes months or years to process. Moreover, the court may use some of the inheritance for attorney and court fees. A living trust automatically transfers ownership of specific property or assets to a beneficiary.
A living trust attorney can help you understand whether a living trust is right for you and your assets. It’s best to work with a lawyer who can evaluate your situation and help you determine if avoiding probate is right for you.
How Long Does It Take to Get Property Through a Living Trust?
While the probate process can take months or years, a living trust typically transfers property in a matter of weeks. Because the process is automatic and transfers outside of your will and other court processes, you are able to skip much of the legal process. When property is fully transferred to beneficiaries, the living trust typically ends and no longer exists. The living trust exists solely to create an efficient method of transfer from the trustee to the beneficiary.
How to Create a Living Trust
Creating a living trust is similar to creating a will. It is important to use the proper language and establish a valid living trust that will avoid probate and transfer property after death. You must specifically name trustees, beneficiaries, and more in a living trust. While it isn’t difficult to establish a living trust, having a living trust attorney guide you through the process will ensure that you avoid any mistakes, as well as address any challenges that may arise.
It is not typically expensive to create a living trust. You can draft these documents quickly and include the proper information to transfer ownership of property. While it’s important to include specific information, you can generally provide all necessary information in one meeting with your attorney.
Is a Living Trust Public Information?
A will often has to be publicly recorded to go through the probate court process. However, a living trust does not go through the probate process. It is not managed in a public venue. Thus, it is not public information. If you wish to transfer property and assets in a private manner, a living trust can give you a method of transfer. This can be helpful when you are leaving property to people other than your immediate family.
Can a Living Trust Avoid Creditors?
While a living trust does automatically transfer property, it does not automatically exclude property from your estate. If you owned property that you’re transferring through a living trust, then that property is still part of your assets. Debt associated with that property may therefore follow it. For example, if you owe money on a house, but transfer that home to your children, then that debt follows the property. The creditor may even demand payment of the debt upon your death.
A living trust attorney can evaluate your assets and the property that you wish to transfer. He can also help you understand how it will be treated after your death. It’s best to understand the process and how it will impact your heirs when the property transfers through your living trust.
Call a Living Trust Attorney for Help With Your Estate Planning
Estate planning can be extremely complex. You may not be sure about the best method of transferring your assets to your beneficiaries. A living trust attorney can help you do this while avoiding the probate process. Call Herbert Law Office today for more information.