Living Trusts in Texas
Committed to Serving Clients Since 1972
Living trusts are a popular alternative to traditional wills when it comes to estate planning documents. However, it is important to understand if this option is the best solution for your needs by evaluating your own circumstances. Here are some basic facts you should know when considering a living trust.
What is a Living Trust?
A living trust is created while the creator is living, unlike a testamentary trust, which is created at or after the creator’s death under the terms of his or her will. This type of trust can be either changeable by the creator prior to death, or unchangeable. Typically, when people discuss living trusts, they are referring to a revocable or changeable trust created during a person’s lifetime for the management and disposition of all, or nearly all, of the creator’s property.
How Does it Work?
The creator of the trust, also known as a settlor or trustor, usually names himself or herself as the initial trustee and beneficiary, maintaining ownership of the legal title to trust property for his or her own benefit. Upon the settlor’s death, resignation, or incapacitation, another individual would either become the trustee and manage the property or, if the settlor is deceased, become the beneficiary.
How is it Different From a Will?
Wills are legal documents that are effective only upon your death, detailing how your assets and property are to be disposed of. In order for wills to be effective, it must be acknowledged through a court procedure known as a probate. A living trust does not require this validity since it already specifies how your property is to be disposed of after your death.
Who Should Consider a Living Trust?
You should consult with your lawyer to evaluate the best solution for your needs and goals. Here are some factors that often make living trusts a good idea:
- You have real estate in another state: Living trusts can save you the cost of a probate proceeding in the other state or states where you own property.
- Impending disability: If you have a reasonable fear that you will soon be unable to manage to manage your property prior to your death due to a medical condition, a living trust can make it easier for others you select to manage your property.
- Privacy concerns: Living trusts provide less public disclosure of what you own if used properly.
- Likelihood of a will contest: If you believe your loved ones are likely to fight over your will, a living trust will make it difficult for them to successfully contest your plan.
If these factors are not present in your situation, a will-based plan might be the better option for you. However, you should consult an attorney to discuss your situation to truly make the best decision.
The Woodlands & Montgomery County Attorneys
At Dossey & Jones, PLLC, our goal is to provide exceptional service and optimum results. When you come to our firm, we will help you understand your situation and options so you can be confident in your decisions.
Contact us today at (281) 410-2792 for a consultation.