Leaving our assets to our loved ones upon our death is important to most of us. We want to ensure the people we designate receive their share of our wealth promptly.
A living trust will make the process smooth and straightforward. Your loved ones can avoid legal complications and wait times. At Anderson Estate Planning, our mission is to help you create a living trust so your family can receive your assets without unnecessary fees or setbacks.
What Is a Living Trust?
A living trust is a legal document that outlines who will receive your assets after you pass away. As opposed to a will, a living trust will allow your beneficiaries to receive this wealth without going through the probate process.
Probate is a legal procedure that determines how and where your assets land. This court-managed process is time-consuming and creates unnecessary expenses.
A living trust is a crucial aspect of estate planning basics, and you will hear of two main types.
- Revocable: A revocable living trust allows you to cancel or alter the document while you are still living. After your passing, your successor trustee will manage your assets according to your written wishes.
- Irrevocable: An irrevocable trust is permanent once you sign it. You may not retract or change it even if you live for a good long time after signing.
The Benefits of Having a Living Trust in Texas
A living trust offers various benefits for your loved ones after you die, allowing them to:
- Avoid the probate process or skip certain aspects of it
- Receive real estate legacies faster
- Maintain privacy, as probate documents are public
- Potentially receive tax exemptions
How to Create a Texas Living Trust
Most attorneys practice in a wide variety of legal areas and almost all of them will tell you they do some level of “estate planning.” To create your living trust, you should seek legal counsel from an attorney whose practice focuses exclusively on estate planning and all matters ancillary to that. Your attorney should take you through the following steps:
- Choose the terms of the trust: A living trust can be revocable or irrevocable and either joint (usually with a spouse) or individual.
- Add assets to the trust: Your trust becomes the legal owner of any wealth you wish to grant to your beneficiaries. Usually, you will be the trust’s grantor (the person setting up the trust), the trustee (the person controlling the assets in the trust), and the beneficiary (the person having the use and benefit of the assets in the trust). But the people acting in these roles can vary depending upon the nature and purpose of the trust.
- Decide on your trustee and successor trustee: Typically, you will make yourself the original trustee. You also will designate one or more successor trustees to manage the trust during your incapacity and after your death.
- Determine beneficiaries: Decide who will receive a share of assets in the trust after your death, what percentage of the assets each beneficiary will take, and the age/ages at which beneficiaries may withdraw assets from the trust.
- Write and sign the trust: An estate planning attorney will help you build the document following legal standards. You must sign it in the presence of a notary public.
- Retitle your assets: This process is referred to as funding—or transferring assets to—the trust, and it is critical! Assets remaining in your estate after your death go through the probate court to pass them to your heirs. Assets attached to your trust avoid probate at your death. Oddly enough, however, most attorneys will not fund your trust for you (at Anderson Estate Planning, we provide this service every day to our clients).
Anderson Estate Planning: Create Your Living Trust Today in the Dallas-Fort Worth Area
It can be difficult to think about what will happen after you are gone. Adequate planning can help your loved ones move forward without unnecessary troubles.
Many people choose to create a living trust to define where their assets will go after their death. If this sounds right for you, contact an experienced Texas living trust attorney today to begin building your living trust.
If you need help creating a living trust, contact our legal team at Anderson Estate Planning in McKinney, Texas today at (469) 207-1529 to schedule an initial consultation. Our estate planning lawyers will advise you through each step of the process and ensure your estate plan speaks to your specific needs.