Do I Need to Hire a Living Trust Attorney?
It is possible to create a living trust without an attorney. However, at a minimum, it is recommended that you meet with one to discuss the process and to find out what is legally required to be in the document.
Creating a living trust can be a complicated procedure. It can even be more complex making sure that it is a valid document that will be accepted by the court.
There is certain language that must be included and steps that must be taken for the document to be deemed valid.
An attorney can go over the basics of a living trust, discuss why it is beneficial to create one, help you draft the final document, and make sure that it will be accepted by the court in the future.
What is a Living Trust
A living trust is a document that is created during the estate planning process. It is different from other trusts because it allows the maker of the trust to still make decisions concerning their assets and property while they are still alive. They can still manage their properties and make decisions on how their assets are spent and invested.
Trusts are either revocable or irrevocable. In most cases, trusts are irrevocable and the terms of the agreement cannot be changed unless very specific circumstances are met.
In contrast, living wills in Nevada are commonly revocable. This means that the terms can be changed by the maker of the trust while they are still alive. This makes the living trust an attractive option for people who know they want to have a trust to protect their heirs but they are not yet sure how they want it to be managed.
Why is a Living Trust Beneficial
The main benefit of a living trust is that it can help stop your estate from going through the probate process after you pass away.
The probate process is overseen by the courts to determine your assets and debts. At the end of probate, your beneficiaries and heirs will be paid with what money is left. This process can take a long time to complete and it can cost a lot of money through attorney and court costs. A living trust can help your heirs avoid these drawbacks.
Living trusts also offer privacy. If you only have a will, it will become a matter of public record that anyone will be able to view. Even more, the probate process is public. A judge and possibly others will go through your assets and debts in court.
If you do not want your financial situation to be made public after you pass away, a living trust is a good option to make sure your information remains private. This can also help protect your heirs who may not want their financial situation made public after they inherit your assets.
Living trusts can also be beneficial because you may be able to avoid paying some taxes that relate to things like property transfer and gifts. However, it is important to note that Nevada does not have estate or inheritance taxes. A living trust will also not help you avoid federal tax laws that may apply to your estate if your net worth is over a certain amount.
Living Trust Process
Every living trust document in Nevada must contain certain language and stipulations. These include:
- The legal name of the grantor of the trust. This is the person who is making the agreement and whose assets are being included in the trust. They are also referred to as the grantor or the trustor.
- The legal name of the person who will be managing the trust. They are also called the trustee. In living trusts, the trustee is often the grantor of the trust. This means that the maker of the trust will still be managing their assets while they are alive.
- The legal name of the person who will take over the trust when the trustee is no longer able to manage it. This can mean the death of the trustee, but it can also mean that they are mentally or physically incapacitated and no longer able to manage the trust on their own.
- All of the legal names of beneficiaries of the trust. These are the people that will benefit from the assets of the trust. These are generally children and other family members. However, friends and even organizations can be named as beneficiaries in a living trust.
- It is also possible to name minor beneficiaries. If this is the case, then the full legal names of both the minor and the adult who will manage the trust on their behalf need to be included.
Once the trust document is created, it needs to be signed by a notary. After this, all of the assets and property listed in the trust need to be transferred from the grantor to the trust. This can be done by changing all deeds and titles of property. Bank and other financial accounts will also need to be changed so that the trustee’s name, as mandated by the trust, is reflected.
How an Attorney Can Help You With a Living Trust
Even the most basic living trust can benefit from being looked over by an attorney. An experienced estate planning attorney will be able to review your document and confirm if it is valid. They can also help you alter the language to make sure that your intentions are clear and that there is no room for interpretation of what you want after you pass away.
It is probably best to hire a living trust attorney from the beginning if you have a complex situation. This is especially true if you have a large estate with numerous accounts and property.
A trained attorney will walk you through the steps and answer any questions you have. They can ensure that all of your assets are included and that they will pass to the beneficiaries you want without complication.