You probably already know that you need an estate plan. Whether you’re reading this because you’re starting from scratch to create your foundational plan for the very first time or need to review and revise your existing documentation, a Westlake Village trust lawyer can help you make sure you’re setting up your future plans with a thorough approach.
Book your free estate planning consultation today.
What Is a Trust?
To put it simply, a trust is a kind of legal relationship in which one party (known as the trustor or grantor) gives legal ownership over an asset (property, money, etc.) to another party (known as the trustee). The trustee uses these rights to manage the asset on the behalf of a third party (known as a beneficiary).
A trust allows you to keep your assets in a safe space until the conditions under which you’d like them to be used come into existence.
Reasons for a Trust
There are lots of reasons that your estate planning should include a trust as one of the tools you use to ensure that your assets are managed in the way you wish after you have passed.
The following are some of the most common reasons:
- Protecting and competently managing assets for an underage beneficiary until they are old enough to do so themselves
- Keeping trust assets safe from probate
- Maintaining privacy for family assets and how they are distributed
- Ensuring a clear and efficient line of succession for business-related assets
- Managing asset distribution in a way that allows a spouse or dependent access to needs-based, means-tested public programs
- Creating a clear plan for long-term stability for a disabled dependent during special needs planning
Benefits of Trust-based Estate Planning
When you have entered into an agreement for trust administration, you can rest assured that your assets will be managed to your specifications. Trust-based estate planning takes the guesswork out of what will happen upon your incapacitation or death, giving you peace of mind and clarity. Through a carefully managed trust, your assets can even grow, giving your beneficiaries an increased benefit in the future.
Above all, the benefit of trust-based estate planning is clear control that eliminates many of the frustrations and confusions that can happen when a person dies without a clear plan for their estate.
Here are a few reasons to set up a trust.
To Avoid Probate
By avoiding probate using trusts, you could save your heirs time and hassle after you’re gone. By using trusts, you are protecting assets as they are directed to your named beneficiaries without going through the court in the probate process.
Using a trust can avoid making your financial affairs public record in probate court. Trusts are a private way to ensure your beneficiaries get the assets you intend for them while avoiding the scrutiny of probate.
For Medicaid Asset Protection
Medicaid is often used later in life for long-term care solutions like assisted living or nursing home fees. Your assets need to be under a certain threshold to qualify for Medicaid care. A qualified elder law attorney can help you set up your assets in a trust to get the Medicaid assistance you need later in life.
What Does a Westlake Village Trust Lawyer Do?
You may be wondering if you need an estate planning lawyer in order to set up a trust.
There are many different kinds of trusts, and each one comes with its own set of pros and cons that may or may not be right for your specific situation.
Our Westlake Village trust lawyers will give you the added security of knowing that you’ve carefully considered each potential arrangement and chosen the legal services and estate planning tools that best fit your intentions and goals. You can also make sure that any unusual details or complexities of your particular estate are accurately accounted for in the plan.
When Should You Contact a Westlake Village Trust Lawyer?
It’s never too soon to start estate planning. Unfortunately, the future is never completely predictable, and those who die or become incapacitated before creating an estate plan will have little say over how their assets are managed. Some worry that an estate plan they make now might not be sufficient in the future, but the plans you put into place now can be amended and adjusted for any future changes to your estate.
Get in touch with one of our Westlake Village trust attorneys as soon as you are considering setting up a trust for your estate plans. This will give you the most time to ask questions and get the answers you need to make informed decisions. You can ask any questions you have now by calling for a free consultation.
How Can a Trust Lawyer Help You?
A trust attorney can make the process of setting up a trust, considering who should manage it, and ultimately getting your estate plan in order easier, more efficient, and less time-consuming.