Regardless of whether or not you’ve accrued a great deal of wealth in your lifetime, it is always important to protect what wealth you do have, and ensure that it is best meeting the needs of you and your family.
One option that many explore is a living trust, a legal agreement that puts all your assets into a specific fund, so to speak. Once this living trust is established it is possible to have those assets allocated as you deem acceptable. For example, you can use these funds for your own benefit while you are alive before transferring them to any beneficiaries upon your death.
Living trusts are also revocable, meaning that you retain sole discretion to alter the terms during the course of your lifetime. You may also elect to dissolve the trust completely, if it no longer serves the needs of you and your family.
How Does a Living Trust Work?
It’s important to note that any kind of trust, including living trusts, can be complicated to set up, it is always best to work with an attorney specializing in estate planning from the outset.
Once you have a qualified legal representative enlisted, you have the option to designate yourself as the trustee of your trust, giving you the right to manage the full extent of your assets. Depending on the extent of your assets, the established trust can cover everything from stocks and bonds to other physical assets, like residential or commercial properties.
From the moment you set up your trust, you maintain sole control over your assets. You can make changes to the trust as the needs of you and your family change. Once you pass, power transfers to a successor trustee, who is then tasked with the management of your trust and its assets.
It is also possible to have your successor trustee assume control of your trust if you become incapacitated and are unable to continue managing the trust.
What Are the Benefits of a Living Trust?
There are a number of reasons why an individual would consider a living trust, especially if you have accrued a significant amount of wealth. One of the leading reasons is that living trusts allow you to avoid the legal process of establishing a will’s validity, something known as probate.
This is an important contrast from other legal documents, like wills, where beneficiaries endure a lengthy and costly legal process to ensure that any and all wishes are carried out appropriately. With a living trust, your heirs are able to access your assets sooner, without the additional hassle.
You also are granted a greater degree of privacy with a living trust, rather than a will. Unlike wills, which are part of public record, a living trust allows you to keep sensitive information private.
Working with an Attorney Specializing in Trusts
In Norman, Oklahoma, the attorneys at Rick Dane Moore & Associates Law Firm specialize in all assets of estate planning, including the creation and establishment of living trusts. We can work with you to assess the extend of your assets and determine the best possible legal option for you and your loved ones, not just now, but well into the future as well.
To learn more about living trusts, or to schedule an initial consultation with one of our attorneys, call our law office today at (405) 366-0373.