What is a trust? A trust is a legal method to control your assets while you are alive that will live beyond your death. One of the advantages of a trust is that it avoids the lengthy and costly Probate process. On our Probate page we stated that Probate is a process set by law to transfer property because you are no longer around to transfer it yourself. Well, a trust is an entity that does not die when you die. By setting up a trust, you continue to manage all of your assets while you are alive in the same manner you did before you set up a trust. But when you die the trust continues on and whoever you name as your trustee follows your wishes, including managing your assets.
If you have children, you can use a trust to state your wishes for the guardian for your children after your death. Although the law still requires that any guardian must be approved and appointed by the Court, your trust can immediately establish funds for the named guardian to use to care for your children while waiting for the final guardianship papers. The trust can also direct your trustee to hire an attorney of your choosing and to pay the attorney fees that will be needed to set up the guardianship. Normally the trust will have some assets, even if only the proceeds of your life insurance, to help the guardian with the expenses to raise your children.
If you want more information about how you can plan for your family’s future, come in and talk with us. Schedule a consultation. The first visit is always free. Come talk with an estate planning lawyer at Martin Attorneys by contacting one of our offices.