Estate Planning Lawyer
Technically speaking, you do not “need” to hire an attorney to create a living trust. You can obtain the necessary paperwork and create a valid trust, and the law does not require an attorney’s involvement. With that said, hiring an attorney to assist with living trust formation can be advantageous to both you and your beneficiaries. Here are some reasons to hire an attorney when creating a living trust.
1. Avoid Costly Mistakes
A trust is much more complicated than a simple will. Therefore, it is easy to make mistakes. However, if you fail to correct such errors, your will could be invalidated completely. One devastating mistake that people make when creating their own trusts is failing to fund the trust, i.e., retitle the assets to it. If you fail to fund the trust, it is not valid, which means that the assets will likely be distributed according to the rules of intestate succession, which can cost your family both time and money to work through the process.
2. Receive Help Choosing a Trustee
The person you choose as a trustee will be responsible for administering the trust and distributing your assets to the designated beneficiaries. It is important that you choose someone both competent and trustworthy to handle this important job. It may be possible to name a beneficiary as a trustee, but it may also introduce unnecessary complications. Your attorney can potentially serve as your trustee or at least recommend some good options for you.
3. Choose the Right Kind of Living Trust
A “living” trust is one that goes into effect while its grantor (the person who creates the trust; in this case, you) is still alive. There are different types of living trusts. Most living trusts are revocable, which means that you can make changes to them. However, it is also possible to have an irrevocable living trust, which is one that you cannot change once it goes into effect. There may be situations in which an irrevocable living trust would be preferable to a revocable one. An attorney can explain the differences between each in more detail and advice you on which would be more appropriate to your situation.
4. Avoid Challenges and Contests
Someone who is unhappy with his or her share of your estate could file a lawsuit challenging the validity of your trust. This prolongs the process and makes matters more difficult for your family. It is more difficult to contest a trust created with the assistance of an attorney because he or she can anticipate potential points of contention and knows how to close all the loopholes.
Contact a trust fund lawyer, like the Yee Law Group for a consultation when you are ready to create a living trust. One of our attorneys can guide you through the process and make individualized recommendations.
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