Trust Planning For Families: A Trust Attorney’S Comprehensive Approach

Legal by  Barsha Bhattacharya 01 December 2023 Last Updated Date: 19 January 2024

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As the name implies, a trust attorney specializes in planning and establishing trusts between a grantor and one or more beneficiaries. Building a trust for yourself and your family is an enormous responsibility and not one to take lightly. Taking the proper steps and assessing specific considerations can ensure you make suitable decisions for yourself, the trustee, and the beneficiaries.

Use A Trust Attorney That Makes You Feel Comfortable

Always choose a trusted lawyer that makes you feel comfortable and confident in your abilities. The whole process can be stressful and overwhelming, especially if it involves children.

Select a trust attorney (like the ones at Hays Firm) who allows you to ask questions and is willing to provide thorough answers without getting aggravated. Most people need to be better versed in creating trust, so teaming up with an attorney willing to share professional insight and explanations can be vital. As crucial as honesty is, there should also be a level of empathy, considering the sensitive nature of the process.

Discuss Plans With Your Spouse

Everyone’s marital dynamic is different, mainly regarding financial matters. For example, some couples keep money and other assets separate. Others have all their assets intertwined, while others have a balance of both.

Discuss trust planning with your spouse before your appointment with a trust attorney. The discussion should ensure you are on the same page and have similar ideas rather than relying solely on assumptions or one person making the decisions for the other. The trust attorney may help couples develop final decisions if one or both parties are unsure. However, having a preliminary plan will help the process promptly.

Delegate A Trustee

The trustee is responsible for managing the trust’s assets. This entity or person must carry out the terms of the trust and ensure no fraudulent activity is involved. Choosing a trustee you believe will entirely and ethically uphold their duties is essential.

It may be in your best interest to select a neutral party trustee, as in someone who’s not already going to be a beneficiary yet will still have your best interests at heart. This neutral person ensures no chance of a conflict of interest or perception of such.

Understand The Different Trusts And What They Involve

There are many trusts, but the two primary ones you should become familiar with are irrevocable and revocable. The former typically cannot be altered once finalized, while the latter can.

While you can and should research the different types of trusts, the best way to decide which option is ideal for your situation is to discuss it with a trust attorney. Explain what you want to achieve by creating a trust, what assets you want included, and to whom you want your assets going. They can recommend one or more trusts that are best for you.

Make A List Of Who Gets What Assets

One of the most challenging aspects of creating a trust is deciding who you want your beneficiaries to be and what you wish each of them to get. It is not a decision to rush, even if the choices seem already apparent. It is imperative to an irrevocable trust.

Take your time determining who you are comfortable with receiving certain assets, and do not let anyone influence your decision. While you may want to share your thoughts with your spouse, consider holding off on telling anyone else, so there is no intentional or unintentional effort to influence the process. Also, be mindful of any recent disagreements within the family and allow a cooling-off period to ensure fair asset allocation when you begin writing a trust.

Decide On The Terms Of The Trust

You should instill specific distribution terms as part of the trust, depending on who your beneficiaries will be. For instance, put a term in the trust stating your child will only get money once they graduate college with a specific GPA. Determining terms is almost as difficult of a task, if not equally so, as choosing a beneficiary, but it is essential.

Be As Detailed As Possible

Specifics matter when it comes to anything legal, including trusts. In the future, you may not be able to defend your choices or explain how you meant something in the document, so make sure you are precise without any chance of doubt.

As part of this, fully expressing your wishes to your trust attorney is vital. They will be responsible for drafting the document and can only understand what you want once you explain it.

The first step in creating a trust should be finding a trust attorney who you believe in and feel can help you create a plan with which you are satisfied. There is often no quick and easy solution for establishing trust, especially in the case of blended families and/or significant assets. A reliable trust attorney can help you make the best decisions for everyone involved.

Additional:

Barsha Bhattacharya

Barsha Bhattacharya is a senior content writing executive. As a marketing enthusiast and professional for the past 4 years, writing is new to Barsha. And she is loving every bit of it. Her niches are marketing, lifestyle, wellness, travel and entertainment. Apart from writing, Barsha loves to travel, binge-watch, research conspiracy theories, Instagram and overthink.

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