Living Trust FAQs Everyone Should Know

living trustA living trust allows your loved ones to inherit your assets directly, which means without going through probate court. That means you save time and money distributing your estate to your family members.

The living trust is a useful estate planning tool, and it could save your estate thousands of dollars. Like other legal tools, you should familiarize yourself with how a living trust works. Also, consult with an attorney to find out if a living trust is right for you – or if there is an alternative based on your estate’s unique circumstances.

FAQs on Living Trusts to Know

Before you consider your estate plan “finished,” review these frequently asked questions. They may help you to assess whether or not your estate could benefit from a living trust.

How does a living trust avoid probate court?

A living trust requires that you transfer all assets from your name into the trust; therefore, the trust now owns the assets.  You will then name a successor trustee, who will then manage the trust and distribute the assets according to your wishes after your death.

The process takes a few weeks, and you do not have to worry about court fees or extensive attorney’s fees to complete the process.

Does a living trust protect assets from creditors?

No, it does not. While it is useful, a trust will never protect applicable assets from bankruptcy or creditors. Any legally enforceable debt can use assets from your living trust to satisfy the debt.

Is it difficult to hold property in a living trust?

When you make a living trust, it requires an extensive amount of paperwork.  Then, you will need to sign over your property into that trust. Once it is part of the trust, the hard work is over. However, some people may find the process of getting there time-consuming, costly, and tedious.

Does a living trust protect assets from medical costs?

No, a living trust does not offer such protections. Your living trust can be used to pay for catastrophic medical costs, but it does not generate funds solely for these expenses. You can, however, ask an estate planning attorney to help you set aside funds for unexpected medical costs.

Do you need an attorney to create a living trust?

Technically, you do not. However, it is highly recommended that you use an attorney. Living trusts are complicated legal documents. When you attempt to draft a living trust without professional assistance, you may leave out specific wording, ignore critical statutes, and leave loopholes in your trust documents.

It is best to consult with an attorney in New York so that you can ensure your trust is set up legally – and efficiently.

Do you need a will if you have a living trust?

Yes, you still need a will even if you have a living trust. In fact, it is best if you draft both together so that they work together smoothly. A will allows you to name a guardian for minor children, but also designate beneficiaries and wishes. It will also cover any assets you forget to add to your trust before your death.

Consult with a New York Estate Planning Attorney Today

If you are curious about your options for estate planning, speak with an estate planning attorney in Long Island, NY today. The Law Office of Andrew M. Lamkin, P.C. can help you with your living trust, will, and other necessary estate planning documents.

Schedule a free consultation today by calling 516-605-0625, or request more information online.

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