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Common Las Vegas Living Trust Questions

living trust questions

If you are currently going through the estate planning process in Nevada, you have probably heard the term “living will”. You have probably also heard several other terms like revocable, irrevocable, will, trustee, and beneficiary. Your friends and family may have even given you unsolicited advice about how they handled their estate.

The estate planning process can be complicated and confusing. For this reason, we have compiled a list of common Las Vegas living trust questions below.

What is a living trust?

A living trust is a legal document that can also be referred to as a revocable trust, family trust, or vivos trust. It is an option during the estate planning process and it is used to avoid probate and guardianship.

The trust is an arrangement where one person, called the trustee, is given legal title to property for another person, called the beneficiary. The person setting up the trust is called the grantor.  The grantor can also be either the trustee or the beneficiary. If they are either of these, they would retain complete control of their assets until they are no longer able to. 

What is the difference between a trust and a living trust?

A trust is a separate legal entity that is set up to manage a person’s assets. A trust is set up during a person’s lifetime to guarantee the assets are used in a way that the person setting up the trust requests. The assets are placed inside the trust and are managed by a third-party called the trustee.

Except in rare circumstances, a trust is irrevocable and the terms cannot be changed easily. In contrast, a living trust is revocable. This means that the terms of the agreement can be changed at any time.

Who needs a living trust?

Nevada is known for its complex probate system. If you want to avoid this, a living trust may be for you. It is possible to retain complete control of your assets with a living trust.

However, after you pass away, your assets will be transferred to your living successor and they will be able to avoid the long, complicated, and costly probate process. To have a living trust, you will also need to have assets that you want to protect. 

How do you make a living trust?

The easiest way is to find a lawyer who specializes in living trusts in Nevada. They will walk you through the steps that are needed.

First, you will need to decide if it is an individual or shared trust.

Next, you will need to decide what property you want included. Remember, you do not have to include everything you own in your living trust.

Then you need to choose who the successor trustee will be. This is the person who will manage your estate if you are unable to do so.

After that, you need to decide who will be the beneficiaries of the trust.

Finally, you will need to draft the document and sign it before a notary public to make it legal. If you included any property in the trust that has a title, you will also need to reflect in that paperwork that you now own the property as a trustee in your living trust. 

How much does a living trust cost?

The cost will vary. There will be two types of fees that you will encounter – legal fees and filing fees.

For lawyer fees, many offer living will trust packages that range from $1,000 – $5,000. The cost is dependent on how complex your case is and what you need included. A simple living trust will cost less than one that requires transferring several titles of properties and has multiple beneficiaries. Filing fees will depend on the jurisdiction you are in.

If you decide to file your living trust on your own, it could cost less than $200. However, this is not recommended because trusts are complicated documents that can come with conditions.

You do not want your beneficiaries arguing over semantics in your trust after you pass away, so it is best to have a professional draft it for you to ensure there are no uncertainties.

What are the benefits of a living trust? 

The main benefit is a living trust allows your beneficiaries to avoid the complicated probate process. Avoiding probate will save them time and money. It also protects their privacy because probate can be a public process.

A living trust is a private process and is only shared with those involved in it. However, a living trust has other benefits besides avoiding probate.

It is a streamlined process that can be altered at any time. This means that making a living trust, with a qualified attorney, can be a simple process. If you change your mind about any part of your trust, you can alter it in the future.

Furthermore, if you become unable to take care of your assets, your trustee can take over. This avoids the step of possibly having a court-ordered conservator appointed to handle your affairs.

What can I include in a living trust?

Almost anything that you own can go into your living trust. This includes cash, stocks, and investments. It also includes physical property like land, homes, cars, and furniture.

One notable exception that cannot be included in your living trust is a retirement account. The reason for this is, that account will already have named beneficiaries on it. You cannot assign separate beneficiaries through the living trust. You would need to change them through the retirement account.

Do I still need a will if I have a living trust?

Yes, you still need to have a Will even if you create a living trust. This provides a back-up plan for your estate. You can use the will to name specific beneficiaries for certain property that you didn’t include in your trust.

Finally, any property or assets that you acquire after making or altering your living trust may not be included in it. A Will lets you indicate how property should be distributed, even that which is not in your living trust.

Still Got Questions?

If you still have questions that were not answered here, call us today to schedule a free consultation with our living trust attorneys in Las Vegas, Nevada.