One of the most important documents you may have to write in your estate plan is a living trust. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when drafting your estate plan documents, so it can help to have a lawyer you turn to for questions and concerns. If you find yourself not knowing where to begin when writing a living trust, consider reading these tips below:
Be Clear Throughout
Establishing a living trust is an option that many people can benefit from. Writing a living trust takes time, and is a complex task with numerous elements to consider. As part of the process, you may have to transfer or redeem asset ownership, retitle, meet with banks or insurance companies, and keep beneficiaries updated as terms of the trust are changed.
Living trusts provide a clear way of transferring assets so that future generations can benefit, in addition to removing the burden that would be put on family members after you pass away. Perhaps the most notable relief that a living trust offers is that it bypasses probate. In this way, beneficiaries are protected from outside pressures and asset wealth is safeguarded.
When drafting your living trust, it will be imperative that you are clear and straightforward in your wishes. If you are too vague or ambiguous in your statements, it can cause disputes and other issues later on. Your lawyer can review your living will and offer advice on how to make it more concise.
Assign Roles to Trustworthy People
You will have to appoint a trustee, which is someone who manages your trust, and follows the terms within the trust. Other terms that may be used when referencing a trustee is an executor, guardian, or fiduciary. While you may be inclined to choose someone that is closest to you who knows you the best, it will also be important that this person is willing to take on the task and isn’t afraid to ask for legal help when needed.
Ask About Tax Implications
Trying to understand the nuances of inheritance and estate taxes can be quickly confusing, as they both happen when a person becomes deceased and assets are transferred to chosen beneficiaries. However, the difference is that inheritance taxes have to be filed by the inheritance recipient, while estate taxes are taken out from the estate of the deceased person. For further questions, don’t hesitate to inquire with a lawyer near you.
Contact a living trust lawyer for further advice on estate planning, such as a team member from The Law Group of Iowa.