Estate Planning and Trust

Choosing a Trust and Estate Planning Attorney: 6 Questions to Ask

What is a Trust?

A trust is almost similar to a will. In fact, in some cases, a trust can take the place of a will. A trust is simply a fiduciary relationship in which one party, regarded as a trustor, gives another party, known as the trustee, the right to retain assets on behalf of the beneficiary. Unlike a will, a trust is completely free from probate.  In addition, a trust can be created with the help of an experienced estate planning lawyer in Buffalo, NY.

There are three important individuals involved in a trust:

The trustee: The individual charged with managing the assets in a trust

The grantor: This is the owner of the trust. The job of the grantor is to create a trust and select a trustee for the trust.

The beneficiaries: Those who are charged with the assets in the trust

Types of trust

There are two major types of trusts and they include, a revocable trust and an irrevocable trust.

Irrevocable Trusts VS. Revocable Trusts

Revocable trusts are very different from irrevocable trusts, thus shouldn’t be mistaken for each other. An irrevocable trust is one that cannot be altered, modified, changed or terminated without the consent or approval of the beneficiaries designated by the grantor (creator of the trust or trust owner).  On the other hand, a revocable trust is one that can be canceled, altered, modified, or changed without the consent or approval of the beneficiaries designated by the grantor. Such trusts offer the benefit of allowing their creator or the grantor to eliminate them and take back property held by the trust anytime they wish before their demise. But, one of the disadvantages of revocable trust is that, it doesn’t offer protection against lawsuits or estate taxes like its counterpart, irrevocable trust.

Who is a Trust Attorney?

A trust attorney is a sate licensed professional whose job is to help you set up a trust for your estate. This professional is well versed in the issue of trust and can provide you with advice or recommendations if needed.

Estate Planning

Though common, there are a lot of estate owners who still don’t know what an estate plan is, nor its importance. Estate planning, as the name implies is a plan done in the preparation of death. 

This doesn’t mean that planning an estate means death is looming. This plan is simple a proactive measure put in place to ensure that the estate of the individual is properly handled upon death. That is, the assets of the individual is shared according to their wish. The assets are well managed and the debts, taxes, etc. of the individual is settled to mitigate the occurrence of lawsuits from aggrieved creditors.

In a nut shell, an estate plan, or a will in particular, is a representative of the deceased on paper. It dictates the wishes of the deceased and they must be adhered to.

Making an Estate Plan

Making an estate plan is not a child’s play. It is not one of those plans you make in an hour. Or those plans that are made with some kind of apps on your phone. Of course, there are several estate planning online tools out there. However, some of these tools may not fit your particular situation. Also, the best way to make an estate plan is by hiring a competent estate planning attorney and not leveraging some generic online tools.

So, what is the big deal about estate planning? You see, the estate planning process can be as easy as hot knife slicing through butter and it can be as complicated as fining a needle in a haystack. It all depends on the estate of the individual. For instance an individual who is divorced may find it hard to draft an estate plan as he or she would surely want to include the names of the children from the previous marriage in the estate plan. Now, things can get complicated there. However, a good estate planning attorney should be able to make things less complicated for such individual.

Who is an estate Planning Attorney?

An estate planning lawyer is a state licensed professional whose job is to help and guide you in selecting the best options for maintaining your estate after death or in the case of incapacitation. A competent estate planning lawyer will want to fully understand your estate planning goals and suggest ways to achieve them. . It is also the job of this professional to provide you with valuable advice regarding your estate plan. If your choices aren’t right an estate planning attorney will make you understand the consequences attached to the choices.

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