How to Create a Living Trust
It is never too early to start planning for the future, for uncertainty pervades our lives and we can never say for sure what lies around the next corner. In the unfortunate event that something should happen to you, you will want to know that your estate and your family will both be protected. One of the best ways to ensure this kind of security is to create a living trust. Creating a living trust establishes legal title to your property to a person of your choosing. This arrangement differs significantly from a will, and the process of establishing and managing a living trust is different as well.
Consider whether a living trust is the right choice for you. In very general terms, the people who benefit most from a living trust are the old and the wealthy. For middle-aged and younger individuals, a serviceable will is often a better option. A living trust is more expensive and time-consuming to maintain, and also takes more time to alter (in the event that you should want to make changes down the line). Unless you are certain about your intentions for your living trust, and confident that you can afford to spend the time and money it will take, you may want to make other arrangements.
If you have decided that a living trust is the right choice for you, get in touch with a qualified estate planning lawyer. Your local bar association should be able to furnish a list of reputable attorneys whom you can contact about your living trust. Meet with several attorneys, if possible, and find someone with whom you feel comfortable working. Many very private matters are going to be brought to light when you create your living trust, and you want to make sure that you feel good about sharing confidential information with this professional.
Decide on the specifics of your living trust. What items and properties are going to be held in your living trust? Think about which people you are going to name as your beneficiaries–the people who will be inheriting your property in the future. It would also be wise to choose contingent beneficiaries in case of any unexpected events that may occur in the future. If any of your beneficiaries are children or young adults, choose adults to manage their inheritances until the youngsters come of age. You must also consider who will be named you successor trustee. This person will distribute trust property to beneficiaries in the future. These are all important roles, and require careful consideration.
After everything has been decided, it will be time to draft your trust document, sign it, and notarize it. The final step will be to declare yourself as trustee, in order to hold your property in trust. Financing a living trust may not be easy, and may require lifestyle changes like choosinglow cost health insurance, but there are many benefits. A living trust can help ensure that your estate stays out of court, and avoids probate costs. Talk to your estate planning attorney about all of these things to make sure that you are making the right choice, and going through the right steps to create your living trust.