Trusts Lawyers in Lenoir County Helping You Protect Your Assets
Creating an estate plan is an excellent way to safeguard your assets now and in the future. A trust lets you distribute assets and benefits to your loved ones in a timely manner with few delays. Plus, certain types of trusts can help reduce your tax liability and even protect your assets from creditors. If you’d like to learn more about creating a trust and whether it’s right for you, contacting a trust attorney is essential.
Creating a trust is a complex process, and filling out paperwork incorrectly can mean delays. If you’d like to form a trust but need help figuring out how to get started, contact Swindell Law Firm, PC, today. Our team of experienced lawyers will review your unique circumstances and present your legal options so you can choose the right trust for you. We will also walk you through the process of creating a trust and can even help you manage your assets after the fact. For a free consultation, call today at 252-262-1325.
What is a Trust?
A trust is a legal arrangement that lets a third party, also called the trustee, hold and manage assets on behalf of the beneficiaries. When a trust is established, the trustor, or the creator of the trust, gives the trustee the right to manage any property or assets in the trust. Any monetary benefits that the trust creates will go to the beneficiary or beneficiaries of the trust as named by the trustor.
If you already have a will in place, you may be wondering why you would need a trust as well. Trusts have additional benefits that wills cannot offer. For one, trusts are not subject to the probate process or the legal process of reviewing and executing the will. The probate process takes an average of four months to complete, which often means a delay in your family members receiving their benefits. With a trust, your loved ones will immediately start inheriting assets and property.
Another benefit to a trust is that it can lower the taxes your estate has to pay. Properties held within a trust are technically not part of your estate anymore because a third party is in charge of them. Because of this, trusts are a popular estate planning tool for reducing tax liability.
What Does a Trusts Lawyer Do?
If you decide to create a trust, the first step is consulting with a trust attorney. Your attorney will review your assets and advise you on which type of trust to choose. Following that, your trust lawyer will help you complete all the necessary paperwork, ensuring it is accurate along the way. Once the trust has been established, your attorney can advise the trustee on managing the assets within the trust.
A trust attorney can also draft a plan to distribute assets and property after you pass away. Your lawyer will help you maximize your beneficiaries’ benefits and reduce the tax liability for your assets and estate. Depending on the size of your estate and your financial needs, your lawyer can also draft documents to protect your trust from lawsuits.
What is the Difference Between Revocable and Irrevocable Trusts?
Although all trusts are similar, no two trusts are the same. When establishing your trust, there are two main types you can choose from based on your unique circumstances.
The two main types of trusts include:
A revocable trust can be changed or adjusted at any time. For example, you can change the beneficiary, remove assets, or even revoke the entire trust. You can also name a successor to manage the assets within the trust in case of your incapacitation.
While revocable trusts are beneficial because you can change and adjust them, they do not offer the same tax protection as irrevocable trusts do. Because the assets in a revocable trust are still considered personal property, those assets are vulnerable to taxes and creditors.
An irrevocable trust cannot be changed or adjusted once established. Any beneficiaries you name, and assets you provide are locked in once you sign the agreement. Because the assets are permanently in the trust, an irrevocable trust is considered an asset protection trust. Technically, you no longer own those assets, and therefore, they do not contribute to the value of your estate. This means you will likely not have to pay estate taxes on an irrevocable trust.
What is a Living Trust?
Living trusts are revocable trusts that are established during a person’s lifetime. A living trust allows you to control and manage your property and assets while you are alive but distributes those assets to your beneficiaries after you die. They are beneficial if you wish to change your trust while you are still alive or if you have many conditions within your trust that you’d like to manage.
Because living trusts can be changed anytime, many prefer them to other types of trusts. Living trusts provide the opportunity to make adjustments and name new beneficiaries if the need arises. If you’d like more information on living trusts, contact our team today for guidance.
Should I Hire a Trust Attorney?
Establishing a trust is an essential part of estate planning. Choosing the right trust for your estate and beneficiaries can help reduce your tax liability and ensure that all your assets are distributed equally. If you’d like to allocate the most assets to your family while receiving the most benefits, consulting with a trust attorney is the first step.
If you’d like guidance on choosing a trust or want to learn more about setting one up, contact our team at Swindell Law Firm, PC, today. Our lawyers will provide a free consultation and offer legal guidance about your next steps. Call our office at 252-262-1325 for more information.