We are often asked; "who should have a Living Trust?" our response "Everyone!" If you own a home, or bank accounts, retirement accounts, or any other financial investment or business, then you should have a Living Trust in place. One of the most saddest things we encounter when it comes to a this area of law is when the heirs come to us and say; "our parents home was placed in probate because they did not have a Living Trust and we can't transfer the title to our name." Something that could have been easily avoided and now they are paying thousands and thousands of dollars to the court, state and county not to mention the time it takes to go through the court system, meanwhile the mortgage still needs to be paid as well as the other expenses. Creating a Living Trust with an attorney is not expense compared to the thousands of dollars that are saved when that time comes. Call us for a consultation, we are here to help you and provide the best advise possible to you and your loved ones because we care.
Most people understand they need a will but not everybody knows what a will is or what it does. A will is also called a "last will and testament," is a legal document that governs the post-death distribution of your assets and may name guardians for children. A will is crucial to have, as it allows you to express your desires clearly and accurately. Working closely with a Wills and Trusts attorney to build and amend your will, is advisable. You can die intestate without a will, which means your assets will be distributed automatically according to State laws.
Benefits of a Will and Trust
Preparing a will is probably one of the most valuable things you can do for your family and yourself. Not only does a will cover your family, kids and assets legally, it can also spell out precisely how you'd like things to be handled after you've passed on. A will also help to avoid dying intestate. Another reason to have a will is that it helps you to reduce the taxes on your estate. If you write a will, the peace of mind will be through. Knowing you have a clear plan in place will help you feel more at ease with your family. However, you should not do a Will without a Living Trust. A Will spells out what the decedent is requesting but the Living Trust will protect the Will from having to go through the probate process. A Will is incorporated into the Living Trust.
A Trust is a legal vehicle formed by a party (the "trustor" or "granter of a trust") in which a second party (the trustee) is entitled to control the assets or property of the trustor for the benefit of a third party (the beneficiary). A trust is essentially a financial arrangement among three parties that hold assets for a beneficiary.
You can also use the trusts tool to make any of your assets available through a charitable trust if you wish to help a charitable cause.
You should consult with a Wills and Trusts attorney if you are seeking to obtain a Will and Trust, there are places that offer forms or offer to "fill in" the information for you. However, this is not the best way to obtain and create a Will and Trust, we have had clients come to us after the decedent dies only to advise us that the place that created the initial Will and Trust left out property or forgot to mention an heir, this can have dire consequences. In a situation like this now they need to hire an attorney to help them "fix" what was not done correctly initially, thus costing even more money. It is always best to do it correctly the first time around so that the client saves much more in the long run. We encourage you to call us for a consultation to obtain the counsel you need.