A trust is a legal relationship which is normally created in your lifetime and involves you, the grantor, the trustee and the beneficiary. You don’t need to be either wealthy or elderly to do estate planning in the form of a trust. An estate can consist simply of a home, a car and a checking account. Married couples can have individual trusts or may create a joint trust together. While you are alive you can be the trustee of your trust and continue to make your own decisions. If you become incapacitated, a trust makes it easier for the person you have picked in advance, the “successor trustee” to manage your affairs. Following your death the successor trustee will carry out the directions in your trust and distribute your property according the terms of the trust.
Most people chose to do trusts because a trust can avoid the probate court system completely. Your loved ones will get their inheritances quicker and at a lower cost than probate. If you have your children or even children who are young adults, you can also have the trust hold their inheritance for them, until you feel they are old enough to handle the money wisely. Unless there is a specific reason, most trusts are revocable. Therefore you can change the trustees and beneficiaries as circumstances change.
Consult an Attorney Regarding Your Trust
A trust can be a complicated legal document. Many times, do-it-yourself trusts contain errors, or people do not know how to follow through on funding their trusts. Considering the trust may hold everything you own, using an lawyer is good insurance to make sure things turn out as you wanted them to. If you would like to have a consultation on trusts or other estate planning issues with a qualified and experienced attorney, please feel free to contact my office by calling (858) 792-5988.