A living trust is a trust created during life to either save tax money or establish a long-term way to manage property. Living trusts are specifically designed to avoid probate and are also used to safeguard financial privacy and manage assets should the owner pass away or become incapacitated.
Many people who want to create a living trust contemplate hiring a living trust lawyer. Hiring a living trust lawyer can cost between $1,200 to $2,000, which does not itself guarantee you top quality service. You can use do-it-yourself books or software and pay around $40. If you are willing to invest some time using a high quality do-it-yourself product, you could create just as good a trust yourself.
Living Trust Basics
The ease of creating a living trust is comparable to creating a last will and testament, which many people do without the help of a lawyer. To understand how easy it is, it is helpful to know what goes into a living trust. A living trust document usually starts with a very basic template and includes the following information:
After you have drafted your trust with all of the pertinent information, sign it in front of a notary. Then, to make it effective, use a deed or standard transfer document to transfer the property of the trust into the trustee's name, per the trust's terms.
It's that simple. So, why not do it yourself? If you have a unique situation, need a special needs trust, or are overwhelmed by a complex or large estate, hiring a living trust lawyer can definitely help you sort out any questions or handle creating a complicated living trust. Before you jump to hiring a lawyer, however, do some research and educate yourself about trust basics. It can save you a lot of money, especially if you decide to move forward and create the trust yourself.
Drafting a Living Trust? Make Sure it's Valid With Help From an Attorney
Although educating yourself about living trusts and other forms of financial planning is wise, you can hardly be expected to become an expert in the matter overnight. A lawyer can use their knowledge of the law and experience in estate planning to help you establish financial structures that meet your individual needs. Contact a local estate planning attorney to discuss your concerns and learn how they can help address your living trust concerns.