If you’re thinking about estate planning in any serious sort of way, then chances are that you’ve considered a trust at some point in your deliberations. As living trusts have grown ever more flexible in their ability to meet a variety of estate planning needs, they’ve become essential components of many people’s long-term end-of-life and legacy planning efforts. Of course, if you just listened to the marketing pitches offered for these legal tools, you’d think that they’re as easy to create as your weekly shopping list. The fact is that you should always have your trust created by a legal professional. In fact, there are at least seven good reasons why you need a living trust lawyer to handle your trust’s creation.
Trusts Are Not as Simple as They Seem
When you understand the basic structure of a trust, its sounds simple: you place assets in another person’s care so that they can be used for the benefit of a third person at some point in the future. It’s like giving your brother money to pass on to a mutual friend that weekend – except it’s much more than that. Unlike that type of informal arrangement, a trust requires that specific elements be in place for the relationship to be considered valid. Moreover, the legal aspects of the trust document are not something that non-lawyers should try to handle on their own.
Trusts Must Align with State Law
Those legal aspects of the trust simply cannot be ignored. State laws control how trusts can be designed, which types of assets they can own, and details about trustees, trust execution, and other important matters. These details are all critical for ensuring that your trust can accomplish your goals and provide you with the benefits that you need for your estate planning.
DIY Trusts May Not Be Reliable
Do-it-yourself wills, trusts, and powers of attorney have become more and more popular since the rise of the internet. Today, it’s easy to go online and quickly find estate planning documents that you can download for free or at a relatively low cost – and that makes them a tempting option for many who want estate planning without the expense of an attorney. In far too many instances, however, the DIY option is little more than fool’s gold – it looks shiny and worthwhile but ultimately proves to be of no value.
The fact is that the DIY trust that you download from the internet may be adequate for your needs, but it could just as easily be so riddled with errors that your trust provides no benefits at all. You never really have any way of knowing who created that form document, or if they were even qualified to do so. In the end, the only way that you can get those assurances is to retain the services of an experienced trust attorney.
Lawyers Can Help You Address Complex Issues
And then there’s the issue of complexity. How simple is your life? If you’re like most people, there are at least a few complications that may require unique estate planning solutions. What’s the likelihood that a form document is going to be up to the challenge of providing solutions for those types of individualized problems? Obviously, the odds are not good at all. When you have unique challenges that need to be addressed with your trust document, the only sure way to resolve those problems is to rely on a competent professional.
An Attorney Can Help You Avoid Mistakes
You can’t afford mistakes with your estate planning. Errors can create weaknesses in your trust that could cause it to be invalidated by a court. While many people believe that trusts are never challenged, that’s not the case. An improperly-executed or poorly-created trust can be every bit as vulnerable to legal challenge as a weak Last Will and Testament. The only way to ensure that your trust has a real chance to overcome legal challenges is to have it created by someone with the legal expertise needed to do the job right the first time.
Your Lawyer Can Help You Properly Fund Your Trust
Surprisingly, many trusts end up being essentially worthless, due to a failure to properly fund them. Far too many grantors either procrastinate when it comes to transferring their assets into the trust, or they simply fail to take the right steps needed to transfer ownership. To be fair, these are often honest mistakes made by people who are simply unfamiliar with how asset transfers need to occur. Nevertheless, these are the types of mistakes that can be easily avoided when you choose to rely upon the sound counsel and assistance of an experienced trust attorney.
Your Attorney Can Provide You with Peace of Mind
Finally, there’s the issue of peace of mind. The fact is that a poorly-designed trust probably won’t be a problem that affects you. In most instances, you’d probably remain blissfully unaware of any weaknesses in the trust, and would ultimately go to your grave thinking that you’d done everything you could to protect your loved ones and your estate. Any defects, improper funding, or outright questions about the validity of the trust might only be discovered by your heirs after your death. That should give you pause. You deserve to have the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your trust will work as intended – and that assurance can only be enjoyed when you’ve had a professional prepare your trust documents.
Get the Help You Need
Those seven reasons really all boil down to one hard truth, when you think about it: you need your trust to effectively work for you and your loved ones. In the end, the only way to ensure that you achieve that goal is to rely on the experts. At Robert J. Kulas, P.A., Medicaid & Estate Planning Attorneys, our estate planning team can provide you with the living trust lawyer you need to create the ideal trust to meet your objectives. To learn more about how our experts can assist you, contact us online or call us today at (772) 398-0720.