Estate planning lawyers essentially help people decide how their money and assets will be used even after they die. They can draft a will, but there are several other legal tools available that give the estate planner more control over how finances and property are distributed.
One of the main benefits of setting up a trust is the fact that the original purpose of the trust can still be carried out years later. The intent of the person who set up the trust is the most crucial aspect in deciding how the money is paid out. The individual or corporation that sets up a trust is called a grantor, and it can be controlled or modified as needed by the grantor over time. Other individuals can obtain rights to modify the trust if they are named in the original document.
Staying out of probate court
A trust can also avoid probate courts and allow the estate planner to start the process of distributing money and property while they are still alive, as gradually as they want. This can function as a more efficient way to give inheritance to family members, as well as donating money or land to charitable causes.
Probate courts also take fees from the estate for their services. Family members often try to contest the validity of the will to get a more favorable result for themselves, which is not possible with a functioning trust. Because the probate court will not look at the will until the person who drafted it is deceased, this can create many problems that are out of the estate planner’s control and become a more expensive option.
Avoiding large losses
Wills and many other ways to distribute property will give the beneficiary one lump sum that functions like a large gift. Whether this is done for personal use or investment, it also increases the likelihood that large losses can occur or the person can simply spend all the money at once. Trusts can even specify how the money is used after it is paid out.
Education and future expenses
If a parent or relative wants to put aside a certain amount of money that can only be used by the beneficiaries for educational expenses, it is certainly possible to do so with a trust. This will protect the money from being used for anything else and it can guarantee that one or more children will have their education financed in the future. Similar solutions can even be created by a trust for other needs not related to education.
Avoid cheap DIY solutions
Most advice you find online regarding trusts will also tell you to only set up this document with the help of an estate planning lawyer. Some companies now offer cheap solutions for people to try to do some estate planning on their own, however it is likely that this will create serious problems later on, and improperly executed documents will have no legal effect.
Talk to a local estate planning lawyer
If you are in the St. Petersburg, Florida area and want to set up a trust or receive advice about other similar matters from an attorney, contact Baby Boomers Barrister.