Should You Establish a Living Trust?

What is a living trust? What are the advantages and benefits of setting up a living trust, and is a living trust right for you? To establish a living trust in the State of Texas, you will need to retain the services and advice of an Austin estate planning lawyer.

Like a will, a living trust spells out your wishes regarding your properties, assets, and beneficiaries. To prepare a living trust as an alternative to a will, or if you need more details to decide if a living trust is right for you, speak promptly to an Austin estate planning attorney.

What Should You Know About Living Trusts?

A living trust is usually one part of an all-inclusive estate plan. It’s a legal tool for protecting assets and properties and then transferring those assets and properties to the ones you love. After your death, your living trust lets your loved ones avoid the cost and inconvenience of probate.

Wills and living trusts accomplish many of the same goals, but a living trust is more complex. Therefore, a trust takes more time and effort to prepare – and requires more maintenance – than a last will and testament. A living trust must be actively managed, and it must also be actively funded.

Whether you need a living trust or a last will and testament – or both – depends on your personal and financial circumstances, but a Texas trust attorney can provide the advice you need.

Why Should You Establish a Living Trust?

A living trust lets your beneficiaries avoid probate, the expensive and time-consuming legal procedure that requires an estate to pay off a decedent’s debts and taxes and to pay for appraiser’s fees, executor’s fees, attorneys’ fees, court costs, and more.

Probate takes a percentage of your estate from your beneficiaries, but transferring properties and assets to a living trust shields those properties and assets from probate. Especially if your estate is complicated or extensive, you should ask a Texas trust lawyer to help you set up a living trust.

How Do You Transfer Your Home Into Your Living Trust?

A living trust can ensure that your home remains with your family without any need for probate or re-appraisal. However, transferring real estate into a trust takes several steps. The first step is for your Texas Estate Planning Attorney to evaluate the best type of deed to fit your circumstances. When presently transferring property into the trust, there are a variety of considerations to ensure that real estate is properly transferred into the trust.

A new deed that identifies the trust as the property owner must be prepared, notarized, and recorded with the County Clerk in the county where the real estate is set. The property’s exact legal description in the existing deed must also appear on the new deed.

You will have to change your homeowner’s insurance policy so that it lists your living trust as the property’s legal owner. Homeowners will also need to update their homestead exemptions so that they retain their homestead protections and tax exemptions and/or preferences.

Is a Living Trust the Right Choice?

Transferring your real estate into a living trust can take a bit of work to obtain the result you desire. You should work with an Austin estate planning lawyer from the start so that you take each step in the proper order and so that you don’t miss any of the necessary steps or requirements.

There are no established rules about who should prepare a living trust, so it’s best to discuss your estate planning needs with a Texas estate planning attorney. However, if you own real estate or a business, or if you have a family, setting up a living trust is probably the right choice for you.

As you know, probate and tax laws are exceedingly complicated and confusing. Disputes among family members and other legal difficulties can emerge – particularly after your death – if you do not have the guidance and helpful insights of a good trust lawyer when you prepare a living trust.

How Will a Trust Lawyer Help You?

Good estate planning requires help from a lawyer who is thoroughly familiar with trusts, probate, wills, and tax regulations. When you establish a living trust or transfer real estate into that trust, your Texas trust attorney will address your concerns and answer all of your questions.

When you plan your estate, details can make a big difference. Tell your lawyer everything that may affect your estate and your estate plan. If you do not have an estate plan in place, whether or not you include a living trust, you should start the estate planning process as quickly as possible.

Your Texas estate planning attorney will make sure that your living trust – and your overall estate plan – is compliant with both federal and state law, provides full legal protection to your estate, and ensures financial security for your loved ones for years to come.

What’s Important to Remember?

The chief benefit of transferring a Texas home into a living trust is to avoid the probate process. If you’re married, transferring your home into your living trust ensures that the surviving spouse becomes the home’s sole owner when the other spouse dies.

This cannot be stressed strongly enough: You must avoid the “do-it-yourself” estate planning kits and pre-printed forms that you’ll find online. Do not try to plan your estate on your own. Any mistakes or misunderstandings could cost you dearly.

Instead, you’ll need to locate an attorney who has abundant estate planning experience and a reputation for superlative client service. But where can you find a knowledgeable, experienced attorney who handles living trusts and estate plans for clients throughout the State of Texas?

Let Mike Massey Law Prepare Your Living Trust

An estate planning attorney at Mike Massey Law will help you prepare or revise a living trust that protects your properties, assets, and beneficiaries. We don’t know what tomorrow may bring, but an attorney at Mike Massey Law will help you prepare for whatever the future holds.

To find out more about how to prepare a living trust or a comprehensive estate plan, or to begin the planning process immediately, call Mike Massey Law in Austin at 512-400-4430 or in Houston at 713-489-7360.

Let the estate planning team at Mike Massey Law help you protect your assets, properties, and loved ones. To serve you effectively, we have law offices in both Houston and Austin, and we work with and for clients and families throughout the great State of Texas.