Dallas-Fort Worth Trust Attorneys
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 can experience huge benefit by using a trusts.
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.
What is a Trust?
A trust is a legal arrangement in which one party, known as the "settlor" or "grantor," transfers ownership of assets to another party, known as the "trustee," for the benefit of a third party, known as the "beneficiary." Trusts are commonly used for various purposes, including estate planning, asset protection, and charitable giving.
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 DFW trust 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.
Call our trust lawyers in Dallas-Fort Worth at (972) 945-1610 for help choosing the right trust for your needs.
Can a Trustee Remove a Beneficiary From a Trust in TX?
In most trusts trustees do not have the power to change the beneficiary of an established rust. The right to add and remove beneficiaries is a power reserved for the grantor of the trust; however the grantor of the trust can name themselves as a trustee for the duration of their lifetime with a revocable living trust and make changes. When the grantor dies, their trust will usually become irrevocable and can not be modified without going to probate court and filing a petition.
Can a Trustee Be a Beneficiary of an Irrevocable Trust in TX?
Yes. An irrevocable trust does not allow modifications, so the grantor made a permanent transfer of assets and it is not uncommon to name a spouse, child or other family member to be named a trustee and beneficiary.
A trustor should be cautious when choosing a beneficiary as their trustee due to the conflict of interest.
We Can Help You Choose the Right Trust Today
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.
For a free consultation with one of our seasoned trust lawyers in DFW, please call us at (972) 945-1610 or fill out our convenient online scheduler.
"Very Professional, Thorough and Good Communicators"Justin and his staff were very professional, thorough and good communicators. They prepared every doc they committed to, and in a timely manner. I like the lump sum fee arrangement. I would definitely recommend them.- Bart Hubbard
"We are so grateful we did this."
We had been wanting to do and understand a trust for a long time. Once we received the meeting invite, the rest was easy. We learned about wills and trusts in an understandable way. Justin and his team are organized, thorough, friendly and helpful. They coordinated and explained each step of the process. We are so grateful we did this. The cost was invaluable. Thank you for everything.- Shelly Torti
"Would Definitely Recommend Crain & Wooley"
We attended a lunch seminar hosted by Shelly Joyner and her team to listen and learn more about our options with Trusts. Based on Shelly's presentation, examples, and knowledge of Trusts, we were sold on Crain & Wooley as the firm to prepare and manage our Trust.
The Crain & Wooley process from start to finish was fast, efficient and very professional. Throughout the progression, both Shelly and Steve Crosby communicated, answered all our questions, and provided various trust documents through the portal for our review /comments.
Would highly recommend the services of Crain & Wooley!!- Paul & Helen Cherry
"Made the Entire Process a Seamless Operation"
Finding a law firm to assist me in creating a "Living Trust" was very confusing. After interviewing three law firms, I chose Crain & Wooley.
They got back to me quickly after the initial consultation and made the entire process a seamless operation.
I highly recommend and will work with Shelly Joyner and Crain & Wiiley again in the future.- Ricky Ellis
"I would return for other legal issues and would highly recommend this firm for legal advice."I am very pleased with the professional services of Crain and Wooley law firm with the trust documents formalized on my behalf. The fees were fair and the result was done in a few weeks. Terms and legal explanations were understood. I would return for other legal issues and would highly recommend this firm for legal advice.- Alex Montanez
"I had a fantastic experience with your law firm and now I can relax!"I had a fantastic experience with your law firm and now I can relax because I have my affairs in order! It was a very easy process, very informative, easy to gather their information and get the awesome result of having all my documents into my trust. Very impressed with the professionalism of Shelly Joiner, Jessica and Steve. I highly recommend this law firm Crain & Wooley for all the estate planning needs. Thank you!- Wanda Echevarria
"Very Thorough In Explaining My Options"Shelly was very thorough in explaining my options in estate planning and reviewing the documents I did have. I appreciate the speed and ease in completing my documents and support in transitioning my home into our living trust.- David Smith
"We Felt Valued, Cared for and Appreciated"It was a pleasure working with Justin Crain, Shelly Joyner, Steve Crosby, and the entire staff at Crain and Wooley. From the moment we walked into their office, we felt valued, cared for and appreciated. Justin took the time to explain to us the benefits of creating a trust and patiently answered all of our questions. My wife and I particularly appreciated their educational emphasis. They provided us with videos and literature that deepened our understanding of the process and purpose of creating a trust. We never felt any pressure during our meetings with them to purchase any legal products or services. They educated us, encouraged us to ask questions, and let us make our own decision. We did decide to create a living trust, and we are very pleased with the results.- William Benninghoff
Finally, you won’t need a lawyer to understand your legal fees. We clearly communicate our pricing structure upfront, so you can feel comfortable with our service from start to finish. No surprises, no hidden fees. *Our flat rate fees apply only to proactive planning services.
Optional Lifetime GuaranteeWith our optional lifetime guarantee, your will and trust will be automatically updated over the years to ensure it stays current with best practices, reflects your current wishes and minimizes future confusion for your family.
Knowledgeable ServiceLaws change all the time. We stay up to date with all the latest information so that you’re covered. No one else in the region is as dedicated or educated in this area of law. We’re the experts so you don’t have to be.