A trusts attorney can assist you with the creation of a trust that protects your assets and the legacy you wish to leave for your family members and other loved ones. You should work with an attorney with experience in trusts so that you can make informed choices about what kind of trust is right for you and your family, and to be sure you follow all of the appropriate legal steps.
Zimmer Law Firm is a full-service estate planning firm that provides comprehensive assistance to clients in the creation of all different types of trusts. This article is a guide to what you should expect and look for when you consult an estate planning attorney and why that attorney is your best resource in the planning process.
What Should a Trusts Attorney Do to Help You?
There are many different things that a trust attorney should help you to do. Some of the services that should be provided by your attorney include the following:
- Your attorney should assist you in determining if a trust is right for you: Many people can benefit from the creation of various types of trusts. However, there are upfront costs associated with the creation of a trust and there are many steps to take like transferring the ownership of assets into the trust. Unless there are substantial benefits to creating a trust, you may look into other estate planning alternatives.
- Your attorney should provide you with guidance on the type of trust that is right for you. There are different kinds of trusts that serve different purposes and provide different benefits. Some trusts can help you to protect your assets in case you need to qualify for Medicaid to pay for nursing home care. Other trusts can provide special protections for disabled individuals after your death so they do not lose access to government benefits due to an inheritance. Still others let you control the spending of a spendthrift heir after your death. You will need to get advice on which of the different kinds of trusts is the right one for your situation, as choosing the wrong trust could mean you do not get the benefits that you were expecting. A skilled lawyer may offer solutions to issues you were not aware of, and open your eyes to issues that deserve your attention.
- Your attorney can assist you in determining who should serve as a trustee. The trustee of your estate is responsible for managing property for the benefit of the beneficiaries. You need to choose someone who you can trust to competently manage the funds and administer the trust. Chapter 5808 of the Ohio Code establishes the rules for trust administration.
- Your attorney will create the actual trust agreement and related documents. To ensure that you follow all rules for creating a legally valid trust so you can get the asset protection features that you are looking for, your lawyer should design and draft your trust agreement. Do-it-yourself online websites or computer programs are risky because of the nuances from person to person, and from one state’s laws to another state’s laws. Most importantly, a website or application cannot offer you the insights and wisdom from years or experience working with real people like an experienced estate planning attorney can offer.
- Your attorney can assist you in determining what assets should be put into the trust. The most popular and versatile type of trust puts you in all positions — trust owner, Trustee and beneficiary. There is no change in your access to or use of your financial assets, your real estate, and your “stuff”. It’s business as usual until you die. Then the trust passes assets to your heirs without probate court intervention, delays, and the legal costs that the probate process generates. To provide such benefits, the trusts must own the asset, rather than you or your heirs owning the asset. Because you own and control the trust, you still control and own your assets. Plus you can change the trust at any time. You will need to make a determination on which of your assets you want to transfer into the trust. Other assets shold stay in your name and pay to your trust as either primary or backup beneficiary at your death. A skilled attorney will assist you with this.
- Your attorney can help you to transfer assets into the trust. Many people create a trust and assume that this is the end of their obligations and that their assets are now protected. The reality is, the trust does nothing for you until you have transferred the ownership of assets into your trust, or set up the pay-on-death beneficiary designations for certain assets. Failure to see to this important details is the primary reason why trusts fail to work as intended. Your attorney will assist you with the formal process of moving the assets into the ownership of the trust and properly setting up beneficiary designations..
These are just a few of the many services that can be provided by a trusts attorney. The services that are provided to you should be personalized based on your specific needs so you can get the asset protection and legacy protection that you expect from the trusts you create.
How to Take the Next Step
Zimmer Law Firm has helped thousands of people set up their estate plans since 1993. We can provide you with the assistance that you need to create a trust that protects your assets and your heirs. To learn more, join us for a free seminar where you can get important information about trusts and their use in protecting assets and planning for your legacy. Or give us a call at 513.721.1513 to schedule a consultation with an attorney who can provide the personalized one-on-one representation that you need to create trusts that work for you.
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