A trust attorney will ensure your property’s distribution aligns with your wishes. They can also help ensure your estate doesn’t owe federal and state taxes.
They will help you find an accountable, responsible, and trustworthy trustee. It will help you avoid mistakes that can render your estate plan invalid.
You Have a Lot of Assets
A California trust attorney can help create a trust that avoids probate court and minimizes taxes when transferring assets to beneficiaries after death.
They can also guide the types of trusts available, such as revocable and irrevocable, and advise you which ones are best for your goals. They can also help you choose the right trustees and ensure your trust is properly drafted to comply with state law.
If you have a family member with special needs, your trust attorney can help develop a plan to care for them after you are gone while preserving any public benefits they may be eligible for. They can also assist you if you own a small business and need to develop an exit strategy. They can also help you if you own property or assets outside the United States. State laws and foreign tax treaties can complicate this, and an experienced attorney can provide expert advice.
You’re Going Through a Life Change
A trust attorney is your guide through the legal estate planning process. They help you understand federal and state laws regarding estate planning and assess your goals to find the perfect balance between them.
They can help you set up a living trust, revocable trust, or irrevocable trust and determine the right type of trust for your specific situation. They also assist with drafting legal documents like powers of attorney and wills and ensure they are valid by filing appropriate paperwork and amending them as needed.
One of the benefits of consulting with a trust attorney is that they can assist you in avoiding probate. Probate is a lengthy, expensive process that exposes your assets to public scrutiny and invites challenges from estranged family members or creditors.
A trust lawyer can help you avoid probate by setting up a living trust that provides clear directives for distributing your assets. They can also help you find a trustee who is accountable, organized, responsible, and trustworthy. They can also help you develop an asset protection plan to shield your wealth from creditors, lawsuits, and other threats.
You Have a Special Needs Child
If you have a child or family member with a disability, it’s important to have a special needs trust in place. These types of trusts enable people with disabilities to receive their inheritance without losing government benefits like Medicaid and SSI. Without these types of trusts, your loved one may be forced to move into a conservatorship or guardianship, which can be expensive and restrictive.
An attorney with special needs experience is essential to setting up the proper type of special condition trust for your loved one. A third-party special needs trust is typically the best option if you want to leave an inheritance to your disabled loved one but don’t want to risk their eligibility for public assistance.
On the other hand, a first-party special needs trust can be a better choice for someone with assets they can put into a trust. However, these types of trusts must be carefully created so as not to violate the law, requiring all funds to be returned to Medicaid after the beneficiary’s death.
You’re Leaving a Spouse
If you and your spouse are splitting up, having a trust attorney review your estate planning documents is a good idea. There are many technicalities involved that may need updating or rewriting, including mortgages and property deeds.
You may also need to remove your ex from life insurance policies (a common practice). It’s always best to meet with an estate lawyer before you tell your spouse about the meeting so that he or she does not attempt to conceal assets or take steps that would be illegal.
A trustworthy attorney can also help you find a successor trustee for your trust. You need someone accountable, organized, responsible, and financially prudent. It is a good idea to name additional successor trustees in case your first choice cannot serve.
Creating a trust can help avoid probate. A trusted attorney can help you determine what type of trust is best for your situation, retitle and transfer assets to the faith (as required by law in your state), and set up an irrevocable living trust or other trust that provides unique benefits.
You’re a High Net Worth Individual
Whether you’re an ultra-high-net-worth individual or have significant assets, estate planning is important to protect yourself and your loved ones. A trust lawyer can assist you in developing a comprehensive plan to fulfill your particular requirements and objectives, explaining the various types of trusts, such as revocable and irrevocable, and how they differ. They can also advise you on advanced strategies such as asset protection and transferring property to avoid or reduce taxes.
Another key service a trust attorney provides is helping you select the right assets to include in your trust. Not all purchases are eligible for inclusion, and including ineligible support can render your faith useless.
They can also ensure that your trust is valid and legally binding, which is critical to your estate planning process. Many divorcing couples are often unaware that they do not have access to each other’s trust assets after separation. A trust attorney can prevent this by ensuring your assets are properly classified as separate or joint property, depending on the circumstances.