Choosing a Living Trust Attorney

If you own real estate or have valuable personal property, a Living Trust Attorney can help you create a plan for passing these assets on to your loved ones. A trust allows you to avoid expensive and time-consuming probate proceedings that can occur after your death or incapacitation. A living trust can also be a good way to reduce taxes on your estate. However, the cost of setting up a living trust is usually higher than the cost of creating a will.

A Living Trust Attorney can assist you in choosing a trustee to manage your trust and distribute property according to your wishes. You will also need to decide on the beneficiaries who will receive the property of your trust. The trustee that you choose will need to have the skill and knowledge to administer your trust after you pass away or become incapacitated. Typically, these are spouses, close friends, or adult children. Depending on your situation, you may want to hire a trustee who can also manage property left to young beneficiaries until they reach the age of majority.

The first step in preparing a Living Trust is to gather all the paperwork that is related to your estate and property. This includes the deed to your home, financial and investment accounts (excluding tax-deferred retirement account funds), and any other assets you own. This information will allow you to create the actual trust document, which is then signed in front of a notary public.

In order to take advantage of the benefits of a Living Trust, you will need to transfer the title for all your properties into the name of the trust. This is called “funding” the trust. It is important to note that revocable trusts do not protect your property from creditors or lawsuits or from the costs of long term care and Medicaid eligibility.

When choosing a Living Trust Attorney, be sure to look for one who is licensed and in good standing with the New York State Bar Association. It is also important to verify the Living Trust Attorney’s experience in a specific area of law.

You should also be wary of any false promoters selling trust kits over the phone or at free senior seminars. They may not have the necessary legal qualifications to draft a valid trust, and they may be taking advantage of you. A trustworthy lawyer will be willing to talk with you about your assets and your family dynamics before recommending the right estate planning documents for you.

Although it may seem daunting to put together a living trust, if you are savvy you can do this yourself with some research and the assistance of an online service. However, you should always seek the advice of an attorney before purchasing a trust kit, as laws regarding Living Trusts vary by state. Additionally, a professional will be able to advise you on how best to protect your property from potential legal challenges and minimize taxes.

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