With so many ways to create an estate plan, the process you follow will never be identical to the next person.
At our law firm, we’ve helped thousands of people create the estate plan that works best for them and their loved ones. One thing we’ve found to be true over the years is that everyone wants to take a different approach – and there’s nothing wrong with that.
While some people want nothing more than a basic will, others find that they can take things to the next level by implementing a trust.
Although a trust has a lot to offer, such as a higher level of privacy and the ability to help assets avoid probate, some people shy away because they don’t know the steps to take in order to get started.
Creating a trust may sound like a hassle. In some ways, it may sound like something that’s going to take a lot of time and money. It may be a different approach than creating a will, but that doesn’t mean it has to bog you down for months or years on end.
Fortunately, creating a trust is easy if you know which steps to take and how to overcome any challenges that stand in your way.
Here are three simple steps you should consider taking:
Hire an Attorney
As tempted as you may be to tackle this process alone, you don’t want to make this mistake.
A trust is a legal document that requires a professional touch. There are software programs that claim to help you create an iron clad trust, but these typically come up short in a variety of key areas.
When you hire a professional estate planning attorney, you can be confident in your ability to make all the right decisions at the right time. Best yet, you know that the trust will hold up in the court of law when you pass on.
There is no denying the fact that it will cost some money to hire a trust attorney, but this will work out in your favor over the long run. It’s better to do things right upfront than to risk making a mistake that will cause trouble for your family in the future.
Type and Goals
There is more than one type of trust, so make sure you compare the pros and cons of each one to ensure that you’re making an informed decision. For example, you’ll probably find yourself choosing between an irrevocable and revocable trust.
Once you choose a type, it’s time to define your goals. You want to answer this one very important question: what do you hope to accomplish by creating a trust?
No two people are the same, so don’t let anyone step in while you’re reviewing your goals and attempting to do what’s best at the present and for the future.
Answer Key Questions
There are a variety of key questions to answer when creating a trust. Here are five that you should address without delay:
- Have you made a list of the assets that you want to include in the trust?
- Have you thought about the beneficiary of the assets kept in the trust?
- Have you discussed your estate plan with loved ones, including those who will receive your assets upon your death?
- Who will you select as the trustee?
- When will you begin to transfer assets into your trust?
As you can imagine, some of these questions are easier to answer than others. Even if you run into a challenging question, don’t let it hold you back from moving forward.
Like most, there will come a time when you have questions about estate planning and creating a trust. If you’re seeking answers, you can begin by downloading our free guide entitled “Fifteen Common Reasons To Do Estate Planning.”
There are many benefits of creating a trust, and this can be a simple process for those who are willing to take their time and move forward in the appropriate direction.
Once everything is said and done, once your trust is established, you can look back and realize that all the time you put into the process was well worth it.