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FAQs Living Trusts

Why use a trust?
  • Consolidated property management,
  • Puts everything is in one basket
  • Instructions for the care during aging
  • Protect surviving spouse from impoverishment
  • Support minor children
  • Protects adult children spendthrifts
  • those vulnerable to 3rd party influence 
  • others have addictions, special needs
  • Avoid probate with fully funded trust 
  • Reduce delay/costs of distributing property at death
  • Easier for survivors at trust makers' death

Why use a will?
  • Guardianship of minor 
  • Lack probate assets
  • Less tolerance for retitling assets
  • Easier on front side for trust maker
  • Best plan use both trust and will
  • Trusts and Wills
  • Client control stronger with trust 
  • Probate avoided with funded trust; not will
  • Will permits judge to fund an unfunded trust as a safety net so with a living trust we use both a trust and a will [will is usually 'safety net']

Why not just stay with my 
old 'out-of-date" will/trust, or nothing all?
  • 'Intestate' laws detail who gets what
  • Judge picks executor-you have no say
  • Surprise ending with unforeseen beneficiaries inheriting your wealth or it escheating to state

Who are parties to trust?
  • Settler, the client, makes the trust; 
  • Hence is called trust maker
  • Trustee controls the trust
  • Beneficiary receives trust income and principal

What are the trust makers' seasons of life?
  • Alive and Well
  • Alive but not well, incapacitated
  • Caused by illness, aging or medical condition 
  • Death

Why do seasons of life matter?
  • Many telescope seasons when talking about a trust which leads to confusion
  • Discussing each season separately clarifies trust operations 
How does a trust work during seasons of life?
  • While trust maker alive and well, trust maker is trustee [control] and beneficiary [life-time beneficiary]
  • Wile alive but incapacitated trust maker is beneficiary
  • Hand picked disability trustee makes decisions
  • At death, trust maker's handpicked trustee follows trust instructions
  • Distributes trust funds to family members, friends, and charities [death beneficiary]
  • Add special protections for adult children with challenges, such as spendthrifts, shaky marriages, special persons with special needs

How many court proceedings 
are avoided with a funded trust? 
  • Living probate, or conservatorship, for incapacitated
  • Death probate

Does avoiding court cost less 
and move things along faster?
  •  yes

How do Trusts and Powers of Attorney work
 together for the best disability planning?
  • Financial Power of Attorney aids in decisions outside trust
  • Health care Power of attorney delegates medical decisions
  • Living will permits one to die naturally if no quality of life 

How does trust avoid probate?
  • Property re-titled into name of trust
  • Picks new trustee without court
  • Re-titling can be accomplished by trust makeragent to power of attorney [POA] or court in pour over will

How are asset re-titled?                                       
  • Home, counsel drafts a gift deed into trust
  • Bank or investment account, new trust acccount
  • Insurance, beneficiary designations
  • trust is named first or second beneficiary
  • spouse second
  • For retirement plans spouse is primary beneficiary