Trusts, just like estate plans, are not exclusive to the wealthy. Anyone can have one and probably should. It can help you minimize estate expenses and maximize the inheritance you leave behind.
A trust can also help your beneficiaries because it provides an organized accounting of assets that can usually avoid probate. Your beneficiaries may also collect from it for years to come, rather than worrying about managing a lump sum.
What should you plan before seeing an attorney?
Before you look for an estate planning attorney, you should be able to answer a few personal questions. If you can think about why you want to set up a trust, an attorney can help find the best fit for your unique situation.
The following are things to consider before seeking professional help:
- What assets will you want in the trust fund?
- Who are your beneficiaries? How old are they? Where do they live?
- Who is the trustee?
- How would you like your assets managed? Invested or sold? When?
- When and how should the trust terminate?
Usually, trusts are either revocable or irrevocable. This means that the arrangement can or cannot be changed, respectively. These changes might be restricted to your lifetime or your beneficiaries.’
What should you bring to an attorney?
If you still have questions about your assets, you might need to visit an accountant or financial expert before you find an estate planning attorney. They could answer specific questions about your assets. Some attorneys are extremely knowledgeable and can answer these questions for you.
You will need to find an attorney in the state in which you want to base the trust because laws around trusts are different in every state. For example, if you live in Texas but your grandchildren live in Pennsylvania, you will need a Pennsylvania attorney to help.