Protect Yourself With A Living Trust
A living trust is one of the most influential documents you will ever write in your lifetime. It’s understandable that you would be stressed at the thought of writing a living trust, especially when it will have such an impact on how your legacy is carried down to future generations. If you are getting started on your estate plan and don’t know where to begin, here is some insight to consider.
Writing a living trust is a resource that most people can benefit from. Because developing a living trust and other estate plan documents can take time and should be tailored to the needs of each person, it can help to get assistance from a lawyer. There are programs available online that can generate estate plan documents quickly for you, however, they are often too general and do not allow customization. If your estate plan documents are established in a way that is not legally-binding, then you risk something happening to your assets that you would not have wanted.
Having a trust is a strategic way to keep assets secured for those you care about the most after your death. The people or charity organizations you choose to have some of your belongings, or a percentage of the estate, are called beneficiaries. Who you pick will be a personal choice and may be only one that you can truly make. You may take advice from others about who to include as a beneficiary, but it’s ultimately your legacy that will be passed down to future generations. As a trust lawyer Knoxville, TN families depend on from Carpenter & Lewis PLLC can attest, here are a few examples of benefits that a living trust can bring:
- Your estate taxes are reduced
- Your minor children are protected
- You can keep assets in the family
- Your estate can avoid probate
- Your estate is carried out privately
- You protect yourself while still alive
A living trust offers a concise way of distributing assets so that loved ones can receive an inheritance when the time comes. You can choose who you want to receive which assets, and they can be relatives, close friends, or even charity organizations. By planning ahead of time for the future, it alleviates the burden of family members dealing with estate issues after you pass away. Perhaps the most favored aspect of having a living trust is that it provides a way to bypass probate. Probate is a court supervised proceeding that validates a will, or handles the closing of an estate if a will is not written.
When drafting any estate plan document, it is crucial that you are clear in your instructions. If you leave your statements too vague or up to interpretation, it can cause issues down the road. Your beneficiaries may even dispute amongst themselves as to what you meant by certain statements, causing further pain to a time when your loved ones will already be grieving. Your lawyer can take a look at your estate plan (like a team member at Carpenter & Lewis PLLC), get to know you and your wishes, and then recommend edits so that your assets are fully protected.