Do I Need to Hire an Attorney to Create a Trust?

attorney assisted trust You already know the benefits of creating a living trust – and you want your estate to avoid probate court. But, how do you proceed after you have made such a decision? You may be curious if you can create your own trust. After all, there are plenty of DIY websites out there and how-to documents to help you through the process. While it is true people with little education could easily set up a trust, these trusts often lack the complexity and ignore the state’s specific trust laws, which leaves their estate vulnerable.

To decide if you need an attorney or not, it is in your best interest to first understand the purpose of a living trust.

Do Living Trusts Help You Avoid Probate?

You want to avoid probate court and give your loved ones the opportunity to grieve without having to attend court hearings. A revocable living trust, unlike your standard will, will give your family members a fast, private and probate-free way to administer the estate upon your death. While the living trust does not substitute for your will, it will be more efficient when it comes to transferring property upon your death.

The Cost of a Living Trust

When you hire an attorney, you may pay an hourly rate or a flat fee to have the living trust set up. If you are doing it at the same time you are drafting a will, you will find that you pay less since attorneys will file their services together to help clients save money. You can still expect to pay over $1,000 to have the trust created and submitted to the court, but you get what you pay for. When you pay the cheap several hundred-dollar fee of online trust and will websites, you are not getting the same legal expertise an attorney has. Plus, these sites are not built for the specific laws that your state requires your trust to address in order to be valid.

The Basics of a Living Trust

A revocable living trust will include certain basics, such as:

  • The name of the grantor, settlor or trustor;
  • The name of the person responsible for managing the trust and all assets included in that trust;
  • The name of the person that will take over responsibility of managing the trust after you pass away (known as the successor trustee);
  • The name of those that you leave your trust property to;
  • The name of the individual in charge of managing your assets left in the trust for minor beneficiaries.

Do You Need an Attorney?

As long as a trust contains the right basic elements, it should be valid. But, that is not to say that you will leave out a valuable asset, name the wrong beneficiary or use the wrong wording in your trust to make it invalid. While it may cost more to hire a professional, the benefits often outweigh such costs. In fact, for a few extra hundred dollars, you will have peace of mind in knowing that your family (and your estate) is truly protected.

Contact a New York Trust Attorney

If you are ready to protect your family and your estate, contact the Law Office of Andrew M. Lamkin, P.C. today. We offer free consultations to discuss your will and other estate planning concerns. Schedule your consultation now by calling 516-605-0625 or fill out an online contact form with your legal questions.

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