7 Advantages of Hiring a Living Trust Attorney

by Frank

1. Organization

Because of their training and exposure to various client’s needs, lawyers are in a better position to craft a document that is tailor-made to suit your specific needs and benefits. A living trust will be organized by an attorney. They can spot pitfalls and weaknesses in a self-crafted document that could be exploited by creditors and other parties. Sometimes, trusts might be difficult to implement when the trustees are beneficiaries of the contents in them. That is why the trustee is required to be non-partisan. An attorney, being a neutral party, is in an ideal position to carry out the instructions in the document without favoritism. Many factors come into the organization of this document and may not be apparent at a cursory glance.

Births, deaths, marriages, and divorces can alter the way you view your trust. An attorney can help you put these events into perspective as you have your document drafted. Assets can be classified as probate or non-probate, which means that your assets might be subject to various laws and rules. Some are taxable while others are exempt. Your attorney will explain where each one is categorized. This will make the organization of the document easier as well as keep track of the assets that might be making loses through unnecessary taxation. If you need legal assistance you can also find additional legal aid here and you can search for a lawyer here.

2. Professional Suggestions

A lawyer’s job is to work in the best interest of his client. For this reason, when you want an attorney to craft a trust for you, you will get his professional suggestions, and that will give you the best possible deal. This could save you money and give you peace of mind. Besides, some trusts can be complicated to carry out. This is especially true where there are many beneficiaries and a lot of scattered assets to keep track of. The professional suggestions of a trained attorney will guide you to make informed decisions on what to include in the document.

3. Generation Skipping

As the name suggests, with generation skipping, the grantor skips his children in the document and instead, bequeaths the assets to his grandchildren. Usually, this is done to escape the penalty of 45% estate taxes that a living trust written to benefit children attracts. If the children were to inherit the grantor’s estate, they would then be charged a further 45% when they bequeath the same property to their children. Generation skipping is especially attractive to affluent families that have “old money” that they want to protect from the taxman. The children can only access the profits from the estate if the grantor so desires.

4. Complexed Estates

A complex living trust is one that satisfies at least one of the following criteria within a tax year. Some current income is retained within the document. A provision is made for amounts to be permanently set aside and paid from the money or assets within the document as charitable gifts. Also, it will ensure the distribution of the amount allocated to the principal beneficiary as well. Since a simple trust is taxed more highly, it is advantageous if a competent attorney handles the complexed estate. It should also be noted that income paid to beneficiaries from complexed estates is taxed.

5. Large Assets

When a grantor has a large estate, managing it can be difficult for the beneficiaries. This is often the case in running a large business. Other people have assets that transcend state or even country boundaries. To get over this hurdle, you can create an irrevocable living trust with the assistance of your attorney. Once the document comes into effect, you cannot change the beneficiaries or even borrow against it. The large assets within this document are shielded from the taxman and on your death, the beneficiaries can access the benefits from your insurance.

6. Assistance

The lawyer will provide the assistance you need to navigate through trust drafting. They help identify who qualifies to be your “Personal Representative” to administer your estate. Lawyers also help recognize who qualifies to be a witness, as well as the correct documents that are supposed to be signed. Following the correct procedures and rules when signing the estate plan documents. Sometimes, the legal language used is not clear, and an attorney will clarify issues by explaining them in layman terms. He will also answer all the questions you may have. Lastly, the lawyer will offer ongoing support so that you can adjust your document should your circumstances change.

7. Laws

You need assistance to understand the laws that govern trusteeship in your state. This includes a myriad of issues. Living trusts are linked to the issue of taxes, the laws of succession, and insurance, among other rules and regulations. Maneuvering past this minefield is going to prove difficult for someone without a legal background. A single mistake by a DIY enthusiast who drafts his own document can render it entirely invalid. It gets even more complicated when you are dealing with assets across states that have different sets of laws. The best advice is to get a good attorney if you wish to get the above advantages.