Trust Attorney Memphis, TN Trust Attorney Memphis, TN

Developing a trust is a process best left to our trust attorney Memphis, TN residents rely on. When developing an estate plan, a trust may be a viable option for many reasons. Trusts can offer vast benefits; however, before choosing a trust, you will also want to have a clear understanding of the disadvantages. Patterson Bray can provide critical guidance in helping families make crucial decisions regarding developing trust. Several trusts can be chosen depending on your needs; however, we have outlined information about developing a living trust during the estate planning process. 

What is a Living Trust?

A living trust is a document outlining your final wishes, including plans for your assets and how they will be distributed to beneficiaries. A will does not take effect until after your passing, while a living trust can take effect long before you are gone. There are two types of living trusts:

  • Revocable Living Trusts

A revocable living trust can take effect immediately and is controlled by you. This gives you the ability to make changes to designations and change stipulations as you see fit. In most cases, the grantor will have control until they pass away or become incapacitated. At this point, the contents will become the property of the trust, and the appointed successor trustee will oversee the trust. 

  • Irrevocable Living Trusts

In most cases, once agreements for irrevocable living trusts are completed, they cannot be changed. The only time the terms of an irrevocable living trust can be modified is with the beneficiaries’ approval. These trusts will take effect when a person is still living and cannot be terminated.  

Your specific needs will help to determine which type of living trust should be developed. We know that this may be a complicated process, so contacting our Memphis, Tennessee trust attorney will be an appropriate next step for making decisions specific to your needs. 

The Advantages and Disadvantages of a Living Trust

When estate planning, your attorney may advise you to consider developing a living trust. Trusts can help meet many needs for families and provide benefits to those who consider establishing one: 

  1. It helps to avoid complications with the transfer of assets to beneficiaries.
  2. When most assets are incorporated within trusts, very few assets will need to pass through probate.
  3. You can save money in legal fees and executor fees that often accompany the probate process.
  4. To ensure a private process for your family after you have passed away. Probate is a public process, meaning anyone can view court documents sharing information about your estate. Choosing a trust can keep the details of your estate private.
  5. Continue to control your estate long after you have gone. 
  6. You can delay the distribution of assets when your children reach a certain age, graduate from college, or get married. 
  7. You can mitigate the risk of a family member taking legal action because trusts are more difficult to challenge.

While a trust certainly can offer many advantages, it will be vital that you speak with an experienced attorney who can educate you on all aspects of a trust, including some disadvantages:

  1. While a living trust can help reduce estate taxes, you will still be obligated to pay both state and federal estate taxes. 
  2. The need for a will is not eliminated as you will need to outline critical decisions such as appointing an executor and identifying a guardian for minor children. 
  3. There can be a lot of paperwork, as you will need to make sure that all assets have been transferred to the grantor. This is often the person who is developing the living trust. 

How can we help you with estate planning?

We understand that planning your estate can be difficult and complicated. Especially if you have considered doing so without the help of an attorney, you may understand firsthand that the language used in a trust can be complicated and identifying all of your assets can be hard. With the help of an attorney, though, you know you are getting someone who has done this many times and who can help you identify different items you should put in your trust that you may not have even considered. Creating a trust does not have to be a task so hard that you choose not to do it. Instead, speak with an attorney from our firm to see how we can help give you peace of mind. 

What can you do with a trust? 

There are many things you can do with a trust and you want to make sure you know how to use them to your advantage. 

  • Protecting minor children. Although a trust cannot name a guardian to take care of your minor children when you pass away, a trust can still protect them financially. When you want to give your children finances but want to wait to do so when they are more responsible, you can create a trust that gives them money at specific points in their lives. 
  • Protecting adult children. Similarly, if you have adult children and you want them to have what they need but do not trust them to make wise decisions, you can name the trustee in place responsible for using that money to give your children what they need when they need it.
  • Maintaining family privacy. Unlike a will that becomes public upon your death, a trust can help maintain your family’s privacy because it will not become a public record. That means anything you write in your trust, including family secrets, the value of property and assets, and heirlooms, will not be made public. 
  • Protecting yourself. By creating a trust and naming someone you can rely on as your trustee, you know that if you become incapacitated in some way and do not have children or a spouse to take care of you, the trustee can use the trust to care for you in the way you would want them to. 

Although we encourage many people to have both a will and a trust, if you are interested in seeing the ways that a trust can ease your peace of mind, give us a call today. We are here to help you with your estate planning needs. 

There is a vast array of available trusts, each with the ability to meet your specific situation. Engaging with Patterson Bray during the estate process is essential. We may recommend that you develop a trust as a way of safeguarding assets, minimizing the tax implications, and retaining as much of your wealth as possible so that it can be passed on to beneficiaries. Get started today with our Memphis, Tennessee trust attorney.