Dallas-Fort Worth Trusts Attorney
Helping Clients Obtain Peace of Mind
People often think that trusts are only for the rich and famous who are trying to hide hundreds of millions of dollars in off-shore bank accounts. However, normal, everyday people benefit from using trusts as an estate planning mechanism. Trusts, by far, are the most comprehensive of all estate planning options because they greatly simplify estate settlement. Trusts can also help your family avoid the hassle of probate and legal disputes over assets and properties you want your beneficiaries to inherit.
Common Types of Trusts
There are a variety of trusts that you can include in your estate plan that can be tailored to meet your unique planning needs. Our lawyers are here to discuss your goals and figure out which type trust meets your specific goals.
We have years of experience establishing and administering the following types of trusts:
- Special Needs Trust
- Revocable Living Trust
- Irrevocable Trust
- Minor Trusts
- Descendant’s Trusts
- Educational Trust
- Taxable Estate Trusts and more
Often times, there is an abundance of misunderstanding surrounding Texas trusts. As you conduct your estate planning, it's important to determine which trust is best suited to your needs. If you have questions, contact our Dallas-Fort Worth trust attorneys. From there, we can aid you in exploring how you can set up a trust to protect or transfer your assets.
What Are the Benefits of Including a Trust in Your Estate Plan?
Some of the benefits gained from establishing a trust include:
- Avoiding In-State and Out-of-State Probate: Unlike a traditional last will and testament, trusts are portable. For example, if you have real estate in multiple states or other countries, then a trust would be worth considering because your beneficiaries would avoid the probate process in each state or country in which property is owned. Click here to find out why a will is not enough if you want to avoid the hassle of probate.
- Plan for Nursing Home Expenses: As we age, we need to be prepared for the possibility of living in a nursing home. With the average monthly costs of nursing home care in Texas being $6,000 or more, an irrevocable trust protects your assets from being spent on nursing home costs. The greatest benefit is received by having a nursing home plan in place FIVE YEARS before the need for long-term care.
- Protecting Loved Ones with Special Needs: Leaving an intentional legacy for a loved one with special needs can be accomplished through creating a special needs trust. With a special needs trust, you won't have to worry about your loved one losing any type of public assistance already being received. Read our blog to find out how special needs trusts can be powerful estate planning tools for disabled beneficiaries.
- Protecting Assets from Troubled Heirs: Life is hard, and sometimes, loved ones struggle with mental health issues or harmful behaviors like substance abuse. Creating a trust with special instructions offers protection for both your assets and loved ones who tend to take financial risks. With a revocable living trust, you can restrict how and when money is given to certain beneficiaries. However, some complicated provisions can backfire, which is why you should consult with a lawyer to discuss your concerns.
- Protecting a Surviving Spouse: Did you know that a surviving spouse does not always inherit from their deceased spouse’s estate? Surviving spouses are often surprised to learn that they must complete the probate process if they want to obtain 100% ownership of estate assets. However, a trust provides a seamless and court-free way for a surviving spouse to carry on living and making financial decisions. A trust also provides asset protection should the surviving spouse remarry.
- Providing for Minor Children or Grandchildren: Trusts can also provide an avenue for safeguarding a minor’s inheritance until a suitable level of maturity or life experienced is gained. Trusts can also be used to make sure younger beneficiaries receive funding for college or vocational training. If you are a Texan who owns mineral rights that have been passed down from your ancestors, then you can put the rights into a revocable living trust to ensure they pass on to future generations.
- Addressing Blended Family Concerns: Family is sometimes complicated. Trusts offer the ability to ensure equitable treatment of children and other family members in multiple marriage situations. Texas is a community property state. Misunderstanding Texas community property laws can cause serious problems for blended families. For example, the property doesn’t automatically go to the surviving spouse, which means children from a previous marriage can end up inheriting the decedent’s half of the property to the detriment of the surviving spouse.
- Avoiding Estate Taxes: Taxes play an important part in civil discourse, but creating a trust may prohibit the government from taking more than its fair share. With a revocable living trust, your beneficiaries will be able to avoid the probate process and negative tax implications. Click here to find out about the tax benefits of including a revocable living trust in your estate plan.
- Supporting Charities: Leaving a legacy of generosity is made easy through the creation of a trust. Our lawyers can include instructions in the trust for referencing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which will ensure your hard-earned assets are utilized with the particular charitable goals you have in mind.
With all the options you have when it comes to creating a trust, it is in your best interest to speak with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney at Crain & Wooley. With our effective legal services and customized legal strategies, you legacy is in good hands.
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