Trusts Attorneys in Houston Helping Your Family Avoid Probate and Estate Taxes
So often, many of us get caught up in the daily grind of work and life, and we don’t take the time to plan for the future and envision how our efforts might pay off and support our families later in life.
If you have started building a life and growing your assets, whether it be kids, real estate investments, a business—or all of the above and more—opening up a trust might be the right move for you.
As more context, money.com suggests that if you have a net worth of at least $100,000 and you have a specific vision for how you’d like your assets to be distributed, you should consider the benefits of a trust.
Setting up a trust can save your family time, money, and legal headaches down the road. Our holistic approach will factor in your current situation, long-term and future goals, and the handling of all of your assets at a comprehensive level.
Regardless of where you might be in the estate planning process, The Hatchett Law Firm is here to provide answers to your questions and help you align your most valued wishes and goals with a trust and a comprehensive estate plan. Book a consultation today to learn more about your options: 281-214-6541.
What is a Trust?
A trust is a fiduciary arrangement in which a third-party person, or trustee, holds assets on behalf of a beneficiary or beneficiaries.
Trusts can be designed in a variety of ways and can detail how and when assets should pass to a loved one’s heirs in the event of either a serious medical injury or death.
There are three types of trusts, and our trusts lawyers will uncover the best
- Revocable trust: Also known as a living trust, a revocable trust is used to prevent your estate or multiple properties from going through the probate process. It can be changed at any time, and assets can be moved in and out.
- Irrevocable trust: Assets in an irrevocable trust can’t be removed after they’re placed in the trust. As this type of trust is inflexible, it is typically used to protect the assets of an individual with a disability, to protect certain assets from being misused or wasted, or to lower certain tax liabilities.
- Testamentary trust: A testamentary trust can be tied to a will, which will only go into effect after your death. This trust is perfect for assets to be passed to minor children.
We take careful steps to help you understand the right course of action as it relates to your estate plan choices. Our trusts attorneys will provide legal guidance and support as to which trust is appropriate for your goals.
How Do a Will and Trust Work Together?
Estate planning is the overarching process of asset protection, including such things as your home and other properties, your investments, your business, and your personal belongings. An estate plan considers both wills and trusts and how they can work together in your and your family’s favor.
The five most essential components of an estate plan include:
- Last will and testament
- Living trust
- Durable power of attorney (POA)
- Healthcare power of attorney (POA)
- Living will
A will is a legal document that spells out how you want your affairs handled and assets distributed after you die. A will includes basic personal information, a letter of intent, funeral arrangement wishes, an appointed executor, an appointed guardian for minor children, and a list of property with beneficiaries.
A trust, on the other hand, is a private fiduciary agreement that can become effective immediately or upon death, unlike a will that only goes into effect after you die. A named trustee preserves and manages the trust while you’re alive, in the event you become incapacitated, and distributes assets after your death.
With the addition of a trust, you can minimize estate taxes, protect your estate from creditors and lawsuits, and ensure your assets are distributed directly to your loved ones with no probate court involvement.
What is Probate?
The probate process is a legal procedure an estate goes through upon a person’s death. This is the process in which the court distributes your estate to the proper heirs, as designated by your will.
All wills are subject to the probate process, unlike trusts. Wills make it easier for the court to distribute your assets, though sometimes an unclear will or lack of one altogether can complicate the process, among other nuances like family disputes or complex estates.
In the latter situation, the probate process can go on for months, sometimes years. This adds cost for legal and court involvement, not to mention the added burden and drain on your family’s time and resources.
In the absence of a will, the probate process can be more complicated.
With a trust, you can bypass the probate process altogether. Other ways to avoid probate might include passing along assets to family members while you’re alive or maintaining join towner ship. One of our probate lawyers will determine the best approach for you, including a strategic estate plan to avoid probate altogether.
How Can a Trusts Lawyer Prevent Probate?
A diligent and thorough estate planning process and strategic asset protection are how we help you plan for the future and protect your family from the costly probate process, minimize your risks, help you save on taxes, and more.
If you need legal guidance on how to set up a trust, have a growing estate, or have minor or special needs children or other special arrangements, our trusts lawyers will be instrumental in helping you craft the right estate plan.
A trust can ensure your privacy, save you time and money, reduce estate taxes, help your family avoid the probate process, and much more. Get immediate peace of mind and security when you book a free consultation with one of our trusts lawyers today: 281-214-6541.