Basic trusts, such as revocable and living trusts, help ensure your loved one’s needs are taken care of after you have passed away.
A trust helps establish a way for you to transfer and protect your assets for the long term while also helping to avoid the time and expense of probate.
Often, people think trusts and wills are the same. While both tools allow you to decide what happens to your assets after your passing, they serve different purposes.
Unlike wills, trusts are not considered public records. So when you pass, the entire process is private. Revocable or living trusts can also be changed as your needs and situation change.
A will is a legal document, while a trust is a fiduciary relationship between a grantor (the person creating the trust) and a trustee (the person managing the assets in the trust).
There are many different aspects of the estate planning process that our attorneys are intimately familiar with. We’ll discuss your unique situation and help create a custom roadmap to ensure your wishes are always upheld.
Contact us to get started today.
Revocable trusts, also known as “revocable living trusts” or just “living trusts”, are customized instructions for what happens when you pass away.
In a trust, your assets are transferred (funded) to the trust. Someone is named trustee, and that person manages the trust’s assets. The trustee must always act in the best interest of the trust. In many cases, a professional trustee such as a law firm is chosen.
The trust establishes a way to transfer and distribute assets, all without ever having to deal with the lengthy probate process. Trusts also hold certain tax advantages that our team can help you anticipate.
Contact us today to learn more.
Over a lifetime, you build an incredible legacy that you want to pass on to your children to give them the best in life. Trusts can seem intimidating or only for the wealthy. But, that isn’t the case.
Legal tools like wills and trusts are part of a comprehensive estate plan help us create your ideal tomorrow. Serving clients in Knoxville and throughout Tennessee is what we do every day. The whole process starts with a simple conversation.
Trusts can be useful in many ways. Setting up a trust will most likely help your family avoid dealing with probate once you pass away. This will save them money and time, reducing stress during such a difficult time. Further, suppose you have property out of state. In that case, a trust can be useful to handle that property without going through probate in other states.
Trusts are also useful since they provide the privacy that a will cannot. A will becomes public once a probate case is opened in a court and the will is filed.
Another benefit of using a trust is that it lives beyond incapacitation. For example, suppose you cannot make decisions for yourself. In that case, your family will not have to get a guardianship through a court proceeding, and the trust can continue to help manage your assets. The trust also lives beyond your death and allows you to control your estate when you pass away. Lastly, a trust can provide asset protection for your beneficiaries.
A few types of trusts can be created in an estate plan. We focus primarily on revocable living trusts. A revocable living trust can be changed or dissolved while you are alive.
This type of trust gives you control and allows you to still possess the assets you put in the trust. In addition, you can be named as the trustee of the trust and list a trustee successor to manage the trust when you cannot do so.
The trust acts as a will but with the added benefit of asset protection for your beneficiaries. Generally, these trusts become irrevocable, meaning unchangeable, once you pass away.
This is one of the main benefits of a Revocable Living Trust. Suppose you created a revocable living trust when you were younger. In that case, inevitable life changes will occur after its creation.
When you experience life-changing events, such as beneficiaries passing away, divorce, or receiving additional assets, all you need to do is contact us. We can have a discussion about what the changes are and how the terms of your trust need to be changed and amended.
We will help you quickly make the adjustments to keep your future and assets secure.
The following elements need to be in place for a trust:
Capacity exists when the person understands what their assets are, their value, and who the beneficiaries are. Generally, anyone 18 and over with capacity can create a trust.
Trust funding is the crucial act of ensuring all your assets are titled in the name of your trust.
Most of your assets naturally will be titled in your name and/or your spouse’s name. Therefore, you will need to address each asset and change the assets from your name as an individual to the name of the trust.
Any asset without beneficiary designations or survivorship provisions needs to be looked into to determine how you want them to be retitled. Further, the assets with these provisions may also be changed in the titling or designations, but make sure there are no restrictions regarding these actions.
The first step to setting up a trust is to give us a call and set up a consultation.
The next step is to make sure you gather all the information you will need for our consultation. This includes knowing the names of individuals you want to be involved in the trust, from the beneficiaries to any successor trustees you wish to be listed. This also includes updating all the information regarding your assets, such as current titling and value.
The third step is to review the trust document we have created, ask questions, and determine any changes that need to be made. We will make sure you have plenty of time to review the document. Please make sure you ask any and all questions you may have so that we can answer them and confirm the document is drafted per your wishes.
The fourth step is the simplest: to sign the document. However, the trust document must be signed and notarized. Next and lastly, the trust must be funded.
Please make sure that you refrain from trying to create a trust document online. Although it may seem more cost-effective, we have seen too many mistakes occur taking this step. We want to ensure that your and your loved ones’ futures are secure.
A trust has specific requirements listed within it for the trustee to follow. One of the main requirements of a trustee is to manage the property and/or funds in the trust and distribute what is required to the beneficiaries. It is important to discuss your trust with a tax advisor to ensure whether you need a tax identification number and/or to file a tax return.
Generally, a trustee must prepare an accounting of the assets and distributions. The trustee has a fiduciary duty to the trust, so if something is not accounted for, there could be personal liability. A trustee can also receive an administrative fee if the trust is complex.
Most of the laws surrounding trusts fall under what is called the Tennessee Uniform Trust Code. It contains the rules and requirements that trusts must follow to be effective.
It is available for you to read online. However, we would be happy to provide all the information you need so that you do not need to worry. We will also ensure we stay informed of any updates to the Trust Code that could affect a trust you create with us.
We would be happy to discuss what you need to know so you can stay confident your trust stays up-to-date and effective.
The short answer is no. Some assets do not need to be placed in the trust you create. These assets are generally assets that have beneficiary designations.
Assets such as life insurance policies, IRAs, 401(k) accounts, and other retirement accounts usually ask you to list a beneficiary designation when it is created. Then, when you pass away, these designations will automatically transfer any funds in these accounts to whomever you have designated.
Further, suppose you have any bank accounts set up with a payable-on-death provision. In that case, those should also automatically pass on to the individuals listed when you pass away.
However, it is essential to discuss these assets with all your other assets to determine if they should remain as they are or if they should be changed and transferred into a trust.
When the trustee carries out the duties and responsibilities listed within the terms of the trust, that is Trust Administration.
The kind of trust you create and the language in the trust will control how a trust is administered. A successor trustee should be listed when the trustee is also the trust’s creator. The successor trustee will carry out the terms of the trust if the trustee becomes incapacitated or pass away.
Wills and Trusts can seem intimidating.
Not only are you forced to think about what happens when you die, but you also have to make potentially family altering decisions.
That’s where having a solid estate plan in place today can create peace of mind for whatever tomorrow brings.
Contact Will Gurus today to learn about your estate planning options.
Trusts are powerful tools in estate planning. Here are a few of the benefits:
Most law firms handle estate planning with a one-and-done approach. But the fact is, life keeps changing after you finish your estate plan. You might have more kids, find a new spouse, or even buy that dream car you’ve been wishing for.
At Will Gurus, we make it our focus to build on-going relationships with our clients and be there not just in the now, but in the future. Contact us at (865) 666-6175 to schedule a free no-obligation consultation today.
Many people know they need an estate plan but are unsure where to start or what elements to include. Our process always begins with a one-on-one conversation with an experienced trusts attorney.
The initial conversation is performed at no cost to help see where we can provide the most significant benefit given our clients’ unique needs. Understanding your vision for tomorrow, we’ll recommend which tools would best provide the framework to make that happen.
You get to remove this burden from you and your family. We ensure all of the necessary legal mechanisms are in place so that you don’t have to worry about the what-ifs tomorrow may bring.
If your situation changes, we are always here to help tailor your estate plan to best suit your needs.
Contact us at (865) 666-6175 to schedule a free no-obligation consultation today.
A few things you will learn with this free guide…
🔒 100% secure. We never spam, rent, or sell your information.