Trusts Attorney in Missouri City, Texas
No one likes to contemplate end-of-life issues, but life is full of uncertainties. No matter your age, you need to plan for unforeseen circumstances, such as your own incapacitation, which can leave you incapable of making decisions for yourself or your loved ones. You must also arrange for your loved ones’ welfare with an estate planning lawyer in Missouri City when your time is up.
A will is often the first step in planning for the future, but wills must go through probate court, and in Texas, that process can be long, messy, and costly. Creating a living trust, sometimes along with other types of trusts, can allow your estate to avoid probate and facilitate a fairly seamless transfer of assets to your beneficiaries.
If you reside in Missouri City, El Paso, or the surrounding areas, contact K.E. Bradley, Attorney & Counselor at Law, to discuss your options and get help in creating an estate plan that gives you and your family the ultimate peace of mind.
Types of Trust
The most basic and often utilized of all trusts in estate planning is a living trust, which means you create it while you’re alive and transfer your assets into it. Assets placed into a trust avoid probate court entirely.
In creating this instrument, you, as the trustor or grantor, name a trustee with your estate planning lawyer to manage your assets and distribute them according to your wishes when you are gone. You can even name yourself as the trustee with a clause that transfers that role to another person should you become incapacitated or pass away.
A living (or inter vivos) trust is revocable. A revocable trust can be changed or amended as you see fit or even discarded. You can add or delete items to and from the trust or change beneficiaries whenever you like.
Another option you can choose with your estate planning lawyer is an irrevocable trust. Unlike a living trust, an irrevocable trust is basically cast in stone from the moment you create it. The assets placed in the trust will stay there forever, and your named trustee will be in charge of managing them.
The main advantages of an irrevocable trust are that it provides more legal protections against creditors and, in some instances, can help lower taxes. Since Texas has no estate tax, and the federal estate tax doesn’t kick in until one’s assets reach approximately $12 million, an irrevocable trust in Texas is mainly a hedge against potential legal assaults on your assets.
Shared and Individual Trusts
Living trusts can also be individual or shared. Our Missouri City estate planning lawyer advises that if a married couple has jointly owned property, a shared trust automatically transfers that property to the surviving partner when the other passes away. An individual trust can be used to protect any property you obtain before marriage or during marriage by gift or inheritance. The trust can then name who receives that property.
Even if you set up a living trust, you still should have a will set up with the help of our estate planning lawyer, which can cover assets not specified in the trust or acquired after it was drafted. A will is also needed if you want to name a guardian for your minor children, which a trust cannot do.
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The Process of Creating a Trust
Estate planning is generally not something you want to undertake without seeking qualified legal advice, so the first step is to consult with our Missouri City estate planning lawyer and firm. We will certainly guide you every step of the way and explain your options in detail before you finalize your trust.
Here are the steps and primary considerations for creating a living trust in Texas:
What Assets Should Be Placed in a Trust?
With the help of our estate planning lawyer in Missouri City, you should place everything of value into your trust. This includes homes, land, vehicles, stocks, bonds, precious metals, interest in any businesses, patents and copyrights, heirlooms, antiques, and stamp or coin collections.
Insurance policies and retirement plans that name a beneficiary will transfer to that party automatically and will not have to go through probate.
The Value of a Skilled Attorney
A living and irrevocable trust are just two types of trusts that can help you plan for the future and prepare for uncertainties. Both allow you to name a trusted individual to handle your affairs when you cannot and oversee the distribution of assets to your beneficiaries. They also enable you to avoid the probate process required when you die with only a will.
With our estate planning lawyer services in Missouri City, our firm has helped countless others like you explore their estate planning options and arrive at the optimal solution to care for everyone involved. Remember, creating a trust avoids probate and expedites the entire inheritance process.
Contact Our Firm Today!
At K.E. Bradley, Attorney & Counselor at Law, we can discuss your estate planning options, including trusts, wills, powers of attorney, advanced care directives, and more. Our team is proud to serve clients in Missouri City, El Paso, and the surrounding areas.