10 Questions to Ask an Attorney About Living Trusts

10 Questions to Ask an Attorney About Living Trusts Creating a living trust is an essential part of the estate planning process. It allows you to put your assets into a trust during your lifetime, making for the easy and efficient transfer of assets after you’ve passed. This is a highly beneficial tool for the trustee, as a living trust eliminates the need for probate court.

To find out what’s right for you and make the most out of your living trust, it’s important to know what to ask your attorney. We’ve rounded up the top 10 questions you should ask your living trust attorney so you know how to get started.

Here are the top 10 questions to ask an attorney about living trusts:

1. Do I need a living trust?

 The first question you should ask your attorney is whether or not a living trust is right for you and if so, what kind is necessary for your specific case? They will walk you through your options and help you figure out the best way to proceed.

2. Who should I appoint as my trustee?

While many people appoint themselves as the trustee so they can manage their assets over the course of their life, it’s important to name a successor trustee to manage the assets after you’ve passed. Your living trust attorney should be able to walk you through the duties of a trustee and help you choose the right person for the job.

3. What can I put in my living trust?

The majority of your assets can go into your living trust, however, there are certain things that will not be eligible. It’s important to discuss this with your attorney during the estate planning process so you can maximize the potential of your trust.

10 Questions to Ask an Attorney About Living Trusts4. What is the difference between a living trust and a will?

A living trust is active as soon as you put it into effect, whereas a will is only active after your death. There are advantages of both, so it’s something you should discuss with your attorney to identify which one is right for you.

5. How do I create a living trust?

Before you can create your living trust, you will need to fill out specific forms depending on the state you live in. You should go over the process with your attorney to make sure you know exactly how to get started and don’t miss anything along the way.

6. What are the advantages of a living trust?

There are many benefits to creating a living trust, like avoiding probate court and having more control over the distribution of your assets. Before you move forward with creating a living trust, you will want to discuss all of the benefits with your attorney.

7. What are the disadvantages of a living trust?

Just as there are benefits of a living trust, there are drawbacks as well. Some of the main disadvantages of a living trust are that there are typically more upfront costs involved and it doesn’t cover any assets you forget to place in it. When you work with Dana and Associates, our final meeting is a Trust Asset Coordination Session where we guide you through “funding” your trust so you don’t forget anything. But, you will still want to discuss all of these things with your attorney before deciding what’s right for you.

10 Questions to Ask an Attorney About Living Trusts8. Do I need both a living trust and a will?

Many people who opt for a living trust also create a will to ensure that all their bases are covered. While a living trust is great for efficiency, flexibility, and privacy; a will can direct any assets you forgot to put into your trust. Before making the decision on whether you should get both, you should talk it over with your attorney.

9. How can I manage estate taxes?

Estate taxes are an unavoidable part of the estate planning process. There are estate planning strategies to help your loved ones handle these taxes. Your attorney should be able to provide you with information on how to manage your estate taxes.

10. Is your primary focus on estate planning?

This is a big one. An attorney whose primary focus is estate planning will be the most knowledgeable resource on changes to legal statutes and will be the most equipped to help you create the most beneficial living trust.

With these top 10 questions to ask an attorney about living trusts, you can optimize your living trust to best suit your needs. If you’re ready to begin your estate planning journey or have any questions on how to get started, contact us today at Dana and Associates, LLC. We have created thousands of custom estate plans for our clients and would be happy to design an estate plan suited for you and your needs.