One of the most important things to understand about estate planning is the fact that you have options. Even if you are not extremely wealthy, a last will may not be the best choice for you. There are different types of trusts that can provide various respective benefits.
A trust that can be ideal for a wide range of people is the revocable living trust. You can take a look at this checklist to find out some of the steps that you would take if you decide to utilize a living trust.
1.) Start a relationship with an estate planning attorney.
When it comes to creating legal documents, you are probably going to want to work with a licensed estate planning attorney. While a living trust can be a great choice for a wide range of people, it is not the only choice, and is not always the best choice.
If you discuss everything in detail with your attorney, you can gain an understanding of the reasons why you may want to use a living trust. Your own objectives will be evaluated by your attorney, and you can move forward to create the trust if you come to the conclusion that this type of trust is in fact the best centerpiece for your estate plan.
Assuming a living trust is decided upon, here are the next steps to consider.
2.) Will it be an individual trust, or a shared trust?
The first thing to determine when you are actually creating the trust is the nature of the ownership. If you are married, you have a choice of creating a joint or shared living trust, and this could be the right choice if you and your spouse own most of your valuable property together as a couple.
It is also possible to create two different individual trusts, even if you are married. Of course, if you are single, you would be creating an individual trust.
3.) What are you putting into the trust?
The next order of business will be to determine exactly what you want to convey into the trust. Items of relatively small value don’t necessarily have to be conveyed into the trust. You would probably want to fund the trust with the assets that you have that have significant monetary value.
4.) Who are the beneficiaries?
Who are the inheritors going to be? You have to make this decision when you are creating your living trust.
5.) Who will administer the trust after your passing?
As the grantor or creator of a living trust, you can act as the trustee while you are living. If you are creating a joint living trust with your spouse, you and your spouse can act as co-trustees.
When are developing your outline, you have to determine who will be administering your trust after you pass away. This would be the successor trustee. It can be a family member or someone else that you know personally, but many people use a corporate trustee like a trust company or the trust section of a bank.
6.) Make it official.
Once you have made all of these decisions, you record them in the trust declaration, you sign the document, and you get it notarized.
7.) Transfer property into the trust.
You have to make the trust the new owner of the property that you want to convey into it. This is done by changing the ownership registration on the title or deed of the property, and you can list the property in the trust declaration on a separate document called a schedule.
Attend a Free Living Trust Seminar
In this blog post, we have provided a basic outline with regard to the way that a living trust is created. When you hear all the facts about living trusts, you may decide that this is the ideal estate planning vehicle for you given your goals and your family dynamic.
We feel very strongly about the value of revocable living trusts, because we have seen them help so many families here in the Indianapolis area. As a response, we offer living trust seminars on an ongoing basis at various different locations in the area.
People live busy lives, and they have different schedules, so we also endeavor to offer seminars that begin at different times, so you should be able to find a session that fits into your schedule.
The seminars are free to attend, but they fill up quickly, so we ask that you register for the session you are interested in so that we can reserve your space in advance. To see the list of the upcoming seminars, visit this page: Free Living Trust Seminars.
Mr. Kraft assists clients primarily in the areas of estate planning and administration, Medicaid planning, federal and state taxation, real estate and corporate law, bringing the added perspective of an accounting background to his work.