Call Now
Free Consultation
  • As seen in :

Are you wanting to ensure that a specific asset goes to a specific beneficiary? Do you want to help reduce the amount of estate taxes your family will have to pay to receive your assets after you die? A trust is an important tool when it comes to planning your estate, and an experienced Houston trust attorney can help you set up and administer one.

What Does a Houston Trust Attorney Do?

A lawyer can provide the assurance that the legal steps you take to protect your assets will hold up to any challenges. Some of the services he or she can offer to assist in that goal include:

  • Answering the legal questions you have for how to set up a trust so that the decisions you are required to make during the process are informed ones.
  • Developing an estate plan that takes into consideration the unique circumstances of your assets, your beneficiaries, and your situation.
  • Assistance in creating your trust, including naming a professional fiduciary to handle the distributions of your assets after you die. Sometimes family members are named as the fiduciary, but many times, people entrust this task to their attorney or other financial professionals.
  • Administering the trust, including notifying all beneficiaries, government agencies, and other organizations of the death; managing the assessment of property values, reconciling all outstanding debts, reporting gains and losses and filing taxes; distributing assets to the beneficiaries; ensuring that the trust in compliance with all federal and state regulations; and representation in any litigation if there are contests with the trust.
  • Preparation of other asset protection and estate planning documents, including the last will and testament, a living will, power of attorney, or living trust.

Who Needs a Trust?

Trusts are a particularly effective tool for managing the distribution of the assets of a larger estate. However, as noted by Kiplinger, “trusts aren’t just for very wealthy or complicated estates. They could be helpful for many “average” folks, too.” There are a number of reasons why a trust may be an effective estate planning tool for you, including:

  • You wish to have control over where your assets go after you die, but you do not want your loved ones to have to go through the probate process.
  • You wish to lower the estate taxes that your family will pay when you die. Because the assets are no longer in your name, they will no longer be a part of the universal properties subject to the estate tax.
  • You wish to protect your home and other assets from medical liabilities.
  • You wish to manage and control spending and investments to ensure that your beneficiaries are not left to pay for your poor decisions or waste.
  • Your beneficiaries owe a lot of money and you wish to protect the assets you plan to leave for them from those creditors.
  • Your beneficiary collects government benefits that he or she will lose by receiving your assets.

When Should I Set Up a Trust?

Setting up a trust should be part of your financial planning activities and there is no time that is too early to ask a trust attorney about doing so. If you have assets and small children, it is important to establish a trust when they are young in order to ensure that the assets you want to leave for them are available without hassle when the time comes.

Types of Trusts

There are several popular types of trusts, including:

  • A revocable trust: This type of trust transfers the titles of property from the owner to the trust, with the owner serving as the trustee and able to retrieve property from the trust to sell or hold at any time during his or her lifetime.
  • An irrevocable trust: With this type of trust, the owner transfers the titles of certain assets to the trust, but the trust cannot be changed and the items cannot be removed until the trustee’s death.
  • An asset protection trust: This type of trust is designed to protect certain assets from actions involving future creditors.
  • A charitable trust: This type of trust will hold a property or asset that is intended to be given away to a particular charity or to the public in general.
  • A constructive trust: This type of trust is established by the court if it is determined that there was never a trust established but that the deceased intended for a certain property to go to a sepcific use or beneficiary.
  • A special needs trust: This type of trust is set up for the benefit of a special needs person whose eligibility for certain benefits would be impaired by receiving the assets.

There are many other types of trusts that can be used in specific situations. To learn more about the best trust for your circumstances, contact an experienced Houston trust attorney.

A Houston Trust Attorney Here To Support You

Whenever you find yourself needing to reach out to our office, you can be sure you won’t need to wait for hours or days in order to get a response. Here at Stafford Law Firm, we pride ourselves on being easily accessible and on responding to all client inquiries as soon as possible.

The fact of the matter is, one day you will need to fall back on your estate plan. Whether it will simply be to pass on your family’s wealth after you pass, or something even more heartbreaking like needing a new guardian appointment for your children, having a thorough and customized plan in place will help make sure your family and your future are well taken care of. This plan will often need to include one or several different kinds of trusts, and you can rest easy knowing that an experienced Houston trust attorney has your best interests at heart. Reach out today for a free consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions

A trust is a legal document that changes the ownership of your assets. If you decide to set up one or several trusts you should always work with an experienced attorney. It is crucial that these documents be set up correctly, otherwise, you might inadvertently cause serious financial challenges down the road.

Whether a power of attorney has the ability to override a trust, depends on which type of trust you have in place. A revocable trust could be changed by you or your POA. An irrevocable trust cannot be changed either by you or by your power of attorney, no matter how much power you were to grant them.

Wills and trusts are both important documents when it comes to estate planning. The specific documents you need truly depend on your specific situation. If you have significant assets, a trust can help streamline the process of passing them on. A will is important for a lot of other reasons, but particularly if you have minor children that will need a guardian designation.