Wills Estate Planning Trusts

Trusts

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Trusts

Our experienced attorneys provide comprehensive legal services for legal Trusts.  You can think of a trust as a secure storage unit, a safe place where you can place your assets before they are released to the people or organizations that you designate to eventually receive them. A trust is a legal entity and so are you. In the eyes of the law you and the trust are separate legal entities, anything you transfer from you to the trust becomes property of the trust. The trust then holds the property for your benefit, or for the benefit of those whom you designate.

 

A Trust has four components:

  • The grantor, who creates the trust.

  • The beneficiaries, who receive the benefits of the trust. Note: The grantor can also be a beneficiary.

  • The assets, which are the properties transferred to the trust.

  • The trustee, who is the person or entity that manages the trust's assets and distributes the property according to terms established by the grantor. The grantor can also be the trustee, at least while the grantor is alive.

     

Trusts can be set up while you are alive (the legal term for this is intervivos), or they can be established upon your death by your Will (known as testamentary). Revocable trusts can be changed or revoked by the grantor. Irrevocable trusts cannot be changed after they are created.

 

Our lawyers can discuss how a Trust can benefit you at a free Trust Planning Consultation or call 816-434-6611 to speak to an attorney now.

 

Trust Grantor

Anyone can be a grantor.  A millionaire may be a grantor, a retired factory worker may be a grantor, you may be a grantor. Anyone wishing to set up a trust, and transfer his or her assets to that trust is known as the grantor of that trust. The grantor may also be a beneficiary, and the grantor may also be the trustee.

Trust Beneficiary

Just as in a will the beneficiary of a trust will receive the income and/or property of the trust. All property transferred to the trust will be distributed eventually to the beneficiaries.  Spouses often are the beneficiaries of trusts. Trusts established to regulate the amount, control, and circumstances of distribution are common. Spouses' needs and situations can change over the years, and having specific limitations on the distribution of the trust assets may prove beneficial.

Trust Assets

A lot of work goes into setting up a trust, but the work is not finished until the (intervivos) trust is funded with your assets. The benefits of the trust will only apply to those assets which are actually transferred into it, which means retitling your assets into the name of the trust. This process is all expertly handled by our experienced attorney's. Bank accounts, stock portfolios real estate and even business interests need to be changed from your name to the name of the trust.

Trustees

The person or organization responsible for managing the trust, is the trustee. The trustee can be an Attorney or similar professional, friend or relative, or the grantor himself/herself.  In the case of a large Estate an attorney is recommended.  If your estate is not large, it is common to name a friend or relative as the successor trustee. Many times a friend or relative may waive the trustee's fees.

Our lawyers can discuss how a Trust can benefit you at a free Trust Planning Consultation or call 816-434-6611 to speak to an attorney now.

 

What is a Living Trust?

A living trust will be used as the mechanism to manage your property before and after your death, as well as provide how those assets, and the income earned by the trust, are distributed after your death. If you should become incapacitated or disabled, the trust is in place to manage your financial affairs, usually by a successor trustee, if you were serving as trustee. A living trust is not subject to probate, and therefore, all provisions of the trust will remain private.