Trust-based estate planning is used in situations when you need a more sophisticated estate plan or you have estate planning goals or personal needs that cannot be accomplished with only a will.
Find out what type of documents you need in your estate plan at a free evaluation with the Atlanta trust attorneys at Meyring Law Firm. We have 10+ years of experience as a trust fund lawyer counseling residents of Atlanta and helping them protect their future!
Call (678) 263-2765 or submit an online form for your complimentary phone evaluation.
How Trusts Can Benefit Your Estate Plan
The most common use of trusts in estate planning often focuses on transferring real estate, possession, and money assets to the trust for the purpose of transitioning the ownership to the client’s family and friends. The trust-based estate plan is the most thorough and comprehensive estate planning solution but it is not for everyone and it can be complex. Our highly skilled Atlanta trust and estate planning attorney can help determine if this is the right solution for your needs.
This is how Meyring Law’s trust-based estate planning can help you:
- Help a family avoid probate — The last thing a family wants to do after the loss of a loved one is end up spending their days in probate court. Just as bad, nobody wants their life earnings to wind up spent on probate court fees. Trust-based estate planning assists families in expediting the process and limiting the role of government in overseeing how funds are managed after a loss, keeping the handling of family legacy money completely private along the way. This also aids in protecting a person’s assets from collectors, divorces and other financial judgments that arise in a public proceeding.
- Provide the ability to manage monies for child beneficiaries — For minors that you wish to benefit after loss, establishing a trust-based estate ensures their security going forward. This can further benefit a younger person by helping them maintain an individual education plan in the absence of an adult.
- Conduct and manage a wide variety of business interests — Absolutely critical to continuing the flow of everyday practices for ongoing businesses, trust-based estate planning can ensure that a plan is in place for privately-held businesses in the event of the loss of ownership.
- Maintain and grow your assets — Trust-based estate planning can help in minimizing, deferring and planning for estate taxes or death taxes. Earn interest income on the assets in the trust so you can grow your assets, which can help alleviate or offset taxes and fees following a death.
- Help keep a person’s disability benefits — Loss can often prove most challenging for elderly couples, particularly when the surviving partner is unaware of their household’s financial situation. Trust-based estate planning can work towards continuing disability benefits onward and assisting elderly individuals to qualify for Medicaid, should it be necessary. Loved ones can be protected at their most vulnerable time.
Trusts can help easily transfer assets to the next generation when a parent passes away. Trust-based estate planning in Atlanta brings a great degree of skill and experience to our clients to draft effective trusts that meet clients’ planning goals. The Firm also supports the trust in the years after the trust is set up so that clients will have access to the many benefits of their trust-based estate plans.
Will-Based Estate Plans Are Not Private
If you are looking for a more sophisticated estate plan that is private from the public eye, our trust-based estate planning in Atlanta may be what you need. Will-based estate plans and trust-based estate plans are very different in that trust-based estate plans remain private. Our trust attorneys in Atlanta can help guide you through this process in a discrete manner.
Will-based estate plans become public court records. Estate plans are filed with the local probate court, which means that it becomes a public court record, and therefore, anyone can see it.
The public record will reveal all of the following details:
- What you owned
- Who you owed
- Who will inherit your estate
- Each heir’s name
- Each heir’s address
- Name / address of the executor
Elements of a Trust-Based Estate Plan
With a trust-based estate plan by one of our trust attorneys in Atlanta, your last will and testament will contain instructions regarding how your property must be distributed after you pass away as well as provisions for your minor children. This will provide for a smooth transition of assets and instructions during your family’s most trying times.
If you have selected a trust-based estate plan, your foundational estate plan will need to include the following essential legal documents:
- Pour-over will — A special type of last will that simply directs where outstanding property not otherwise stated in a living trust ends up going. It basically states your trust as the beneficiary of any property not otherwise on hold through means like a beneficiary designation on a life insurance policy.
- Revocable living trust
- Advance medical directive — Outline a person’s wishes and preferences in regard to medical treatments and interventions.
- Living will — a written statement that outlines a person’s desires regarding medical treatment should they be in circumstances in which they can no longer grant informed consent. This, in conjunction with a medical directive, will provide relief with decision-making during medical ailments by providing legal protection and instruction on proceedings.
- Financial power of attorney –allows the naming of one or more persons to handle financial or business affairs just as one would if he/she were handling them themselves.
Revocable Living Trusts
Your plan will also include a revocable living trust. A revocable living trust is a private contract made between you (the trust maker) and the trustee. It is for your benefit as the beneficiary.
During your lifetime, you will have the authority to make decisions about the property within the trust. If you become incapacitated, the person named as your disability trustee will then take over making decisions.
One of our revocable living trust attorneys in Atlanta can help you create a living trust that includes a detailed list of instructions regarding the following elements:
- What happens while you are alive and healthy
- What happens if you become mentally incapacitated
- What happens following your death
Contact our firm’s trust and estate planning attorney in Atlanta at Meyring Law Firm today!