Whether you're approaching the older years of your life or planning for your future, at some point, you'll consider how to handle the assets that you'll leave behind. Passing without a will or trust intact is a surefire way to create years of legal headaches, lost resources, and possibly even personal turmoil between friends and family members.
A trust attorney is a lawyer who is experienced in all forms of law but has made it their mission to specialize in these types of asset transfer situations. Because of the stakes involved — in some cases, a trust attorney can handle millions of dollars — making every word count is absolutely essential. If you've got assets that need protection and distributing appropriately, hiring a trust lawyer is your best bet to ensure that happens.
You Have a Will. Why Do You Need a Trust?
If you've had the foresight to construct a legal will, you're way ahead of the game. A 2017 survey found that over half the people in America did not have a will of any kind guarding their assets, so if you already have one made up, you're farther along than most. You also understand how important they are.
Depending on your level of assets, a will may be enough. If your estate is over $150,000 though, you need to look into forming a trust around your resources. For starters, having a trust ensures that you receive the utmost level of privacy concerning your assets, especially if you have multiple beneficiaries. Blended families, for instance, may choose to use a trust instead of a will precisely so that grandkids and siblings aren't aware of what the others receive, which could cause problems.
A trust is also generally more secure. You can make allowances for someone who is mentally disabled without having to go to court when the trustee dies to ensure it's handled properly. A trust attorney understands the nuances involved and can help you word the trust correctly.
What Type of Trust Do You Need?
Generally speaking, there are two types of trusts: revocable and irrevocable. Just like it sounds, an irrevocable trust is one that is ironclad; once you put your assets in an irrevocable trust, there is no access to it by anyone until the trustee passes away. A revocable trust can be changed at will by the trustee or removed entirely, making it more flexible. A trust attorney will be able to help you understand which is right for your situation, so be sure to contact a trust lawyer when you begin to plan your estate.
Reach out to a trust attorney in your area to learn more.