Do I Need An Attorney To Set Up a Trust: A Complete Study

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When deciding how to go about establishing a living trust, many people ask a common question – “Do I Need An Attorney To Set Up A Trust?”. The vast majority of them also think about speaking with a lawyer who specializes in such matters. It’s possible to spend between $1,200 and $2,000 on legal representation for your living trust.

The average cost of a do-it-yourself book or piece of software is $60, and this can solve many common problems. The term “limited scope representation” describes the practice by which many people draft their own forms and then have an attorney examine the documents.

Why Should I Hire An Attorney?

Rather than having someone else do it, why not do it yourself? Hiring a living trust attorney is a good idea if you have any questions about the process, need a special needs trust, or are overwhelmed by the prospect of establishing a Living Trust Cost for a complex or large estate.

Hiring legal representation is something you should think about doing if any of the following situations arise:

  • Your net worth is almost exactly equal to the estate tax exemption,
  • Your child requires extra care.
  • Obtaining money for the trust is a matter on which you need guidance.
  •  You might want to establish complicated rules about when and how to give the assets to the recipients.

Although the cost of hiring an attorney to draft a trust may be higher than that of drafting other estate planning documents, the money spent now on good legal counsel will likely save you and your loved ones a lot of money in the long run.

You should think about consulting an attorney even if your trust is a basic one. The trust you set up may be subject to state law, in which case, if you ask, “Do I Need An Attorney To Set Up A Trust,” you should consult an expert.

What Is A Trust?

For those who want to plan ahead for the distribution of their assets after death while still exercising some control over those assets during their lifetime, trusts can be a useful tool. Depending on your financial resources and family dynamics, establishing a trust can be a straightforward or involved process.

There is a common misunderstanding about what a trust actually is.  To set up a trust, one must draft a trust, even though a trust itself is not a legal document. One individual manages property for the benefit of another in a legal arrangement known as a trust.

You can distribute your property to your loved ones according to your desires by signing and funding a trust, which can start functioning immediately, whereas a will does not take effect until the person’s death. Unlike an inexpensive will, Living Trust Cost more.

What Is A Living Trust?

Many people set up a “living trust” for tax purposes or to set up a system for long-term asset management while they are still alive.  Someone can use a living trust to manage their assets and keep their private financial information secure when they pass away or become incapacitated.

When Is It Appropriate To Create A Trust?

Having a trust set up isn’t essential for everyone. Single people without dependents who do not own major property or financial assets can probably get by without establishing a trust.

A trust is an excellent financial planning instrument for families with minor children, children with special needs, or substantial assets.

In most cases, people ask “Do I Need An Attorney To Set Up A Trust” to set up a trust so that they can:

  • Saving time and money by avoiding the probate procedure
  • Keeping children’s money safe until they are old enough to handle it on their own
  • Either omitting or lowering estate taxes
  • The ability to make changes more easily than a will
  • Managing the settlor’s assets if they become incapacitated
  • Avoiding the estate court’s disclosure of financial information

Estate taxes are typically not a concern for the average person. Few states have estate or inheritance taxes, and the federal government only assesses such taxes on estates with substantial assets. However, Congress occasionally makes changes to the estate tax rules, so it’s important to research the current estate tax exemption before drafting your trust.

While a trust may help with estate taxation, it is not a guarantee. To eliminate or minimize your inheritance tax obligation, you should establish an irrevocable trust with the appropriate provisions. An estate planning attorney should be consulted if one’s net worth is expected to qualify for the inheritance tax exemption. With professional help, you can save up some Living Trust Cost.

Trusts For The Living: The Fundamentals

Creating a living trust is as simple as making a will, which many individuals do without the assistance of an attorney. To understand whether you can do it yourself, it is helpful to know what goes into a living trust.

Types of Trusts

Both revocable and permanent trusts exist. The primary reason why most people opt for revocable trusts is so that they can change their minds in the future.

For most people, an irrevocable trust is not the best choice, but it can be useful for tax reasons. Except in very specific situations, it cannot be terminated or altered.

An individual can create a testamentary trust in their last will and testament, which is a type of trust that is used to oversee the management of assets while the trustor is still physically present. The will doesn’t take effect until after the testator has passed away. The Living Trust Cost depends on its type and purpose. 

How Do I Set Up a Revocable Trust?

The following items are commonly found in a simple living trust document template:

  • If it’s your trust, this is where you’d put your name. A trust’s “settlor” is the person who creates it.
  • The trust’s manager, or trustee (again, your own identity if the trust is in your name).
  • The successor trustee is the person who takes over the duties of the initial trustee in the event of death or disability. In most cases, this will be a spouse, close friend, or an adult kid.
  • Those who will ultimately benefit from the trust’s assets are called “beneficiaries” (the same as in a will).
  • Individuals entrusted with the responsibility of overseeing the financial affairs of minor heirs.  The administrator usually tasks themselves with taking care of the assets on behalf of minors or young adults when they receive an inheritance from a trust until they reach legal adulthood.

After you have finished writing up your trust, you should sign it in front of a notary.  The trustee must transfer the trust’s assets into their name in accordance with the provisions of the trust, and they can do this with a deed or other standard transfer document. All of these steps can be done easily with the help of an attorney, so, it’s an answer for the question – “Do I Need An Attorney To Set Up A Trust?”

Funding The Trust Is The Next Stage. 

 Change the title of the property to the name of the trust. You need deeds for real estate, and you must retitle other assets to the trust. You can designate the trust as the beneficiary of any assets, not in your trust or will, but they will go through probate before you hand them to the trust.

Who Should Make Someone The Trustee?

Unless the trust is irrevocable, you should be the initial trustee to handle your assets. You must name the administrator of your trust if you die or become incapacitated. If your designated successor trustee is unable to serve, it is wise to identify alternates who can oversee the process.

Picking trustworthy individuals to act as your successor guardians is essential. In other words, you shouldn’t give your guardians a laundry list of restrictions to follow. Select those you have faith in to act responsibly with money and make sound choices. Since it is a trust and not a command, that should settle any doubts.

Putting Together a Trust for Your Relatives’ Benefit? Consult a Lawyer to Ensure its Legality

Living trusts and other estate planning strategies are worth learning about but don’t expect to be an expert right away. A lawyer can help you plan your financial future using legal and estate planning skills. Contact a local estate planning lawyer to learn how a living trust can ease your anxieties.


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