Living Trust Attorney – Avoid These 5 Common Will & Trust Issues

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We cannot overstate the importance of estate planning. Careful planning and frequent reviews are the keys to a successful estate plan. The worst thing about creating an estate plan and then forgetting about it is that it will cause frustration when you need it most. Hiring a Living Trust Attorney can cut potential problems and ensure peace of mind.

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Living Trust Attorney – Avoid These 5 Common Will & Trust Issues

Most Common Estate Planning Mistakes


Failing to Plan

It would help if you made the time to do your Will and trust to make the biggest mistake. There’s a tendency for people to put off creating a trust – but failing to prioritize it or failing to make sure it’s complete risks the financial future of your estate, your legacy, and, most importantly, your family.

Get started or review your Estate Plan if you still need to do so (or it’s been over five years since an update) or if something significant has happened to you recently.


Not Discussing with Family and Friends

While there are exceptions to this rule, it is usually a good idea to speak with family and friends, even if just a few words. If you set expectations now, so there is a chance for discussion if necessary, you may reduce the likelihood of disagreement or contention after your passing.

You can also add language to parts of your Estate Plan that specify who can contest anything that will be removed if this isn’t an option.

Take time in advance to discuss your Estate Plan with your spouse and the executors and trustees you have named, and consider notifying specific family members.


Naming Just One Beneficiary

For any asset you own, you should always designate more than one beneficiary. As a contingency, if one of your beneficiaries dies before you do, you will want to have a contingent beneficiary. In theory, you should list more than one contingent beneficiary if you want your estate or assets to go to them.

Ensure that a primary beneficiary and at least one contingent beneficiary are named for each asset, account, or policy.


We need to think about the Power of Attorneys or Healthcare Representatives.

When you die, these roles usually dissolve. Thus, it would help if you named a Power of Attorney (either medical or financial) or a Healthcare Proxy to oversee healthcare decisions should you become incapacitated.

Suppose your Living Will does not designate a Power of Attorney or Healthcare Proxy. In that case, you should prepare your documents appointing someone who can make financial and medical decisions on your behalf.


Consider how you want to celebrate your life.

Leaving your loved ones behind can be challenging, but planning what you want to happen (such as funeral arrangements) can be a blessing for them after you pass away. In addition to knowing your wishes regarding end-of-life care (hospice, assisted living, etc.).

Consider how you want to celebrate your life and what kind of funeral, memorial, or burial you desire. Please let your family know exactly what you want them to do to honor you.

You can also incorporate end-of-life planning documents into your Estate Plan. Doing all these things can ensure your final wishes will be a tribute and reduce some stress for those grieving your loss.


Forgetting about Your Digital Assets

In today’s technologically advanced world, Digital Estate Planning makes sense, although it is relatively new. In addition to social media accounts, online banking accounts, email accounts, and more, it is important to include a Digital Estate Plan that outlines how you want your digital assets handled after you die.

Undoubtedly, a Digital Trust should be a part of your Estate Planning. In the same way, you name an Executor for your other assets in your estate plan; you’ll also name a Digital Executor for your digital assets.


Do not think about charities that are Important to You.

In particular, if you have a large estate, but even if you don’t have immense wealth, you can still donate some assets to a charity you care about.

Charities can receive part of your estate in several ways. Your Estate Plan can ensure that the gift you want to give is honored. If you have an asset (like an investment or life insurance policy) that you wish to transfer to a charity, you can name the charity as a beneficiary.


Not Thinking about Your Children’s Futures

There are cases where the way you phrase things can come back to haunt your children or heirs, even though you may be well-intentioned. It may be appropriate to include instructions regarding how their guardian should spend assets to care for them or to benefit them in other ways if your children are very young.

Your children may not want something, so you could make another mistake by assuming they will want it. You might consider passing down a family vacation home, for instance, with the condition that you can only sell the property once all your children get married and have their own vacation homes.

What happens if one of the children doesn’t want to get married or isn’t interested in becoming a homeowner? During these cases, heirs will have to go through the courts to receive allowances which could result in substantial legal fees and depreciation of the asset.

When passing inheritances to minors, it’s best to leave specific directions. Does age matter? Status of marriage? College graduation? If you make any stipulations on an inheritance, think carefully about how they are worded.


You be as specific as possible.

When writing trust and will, we usually advise that you be as specific as possible. You might own assets now that you won’t necessarily own in the future. Is there anything you can own decades from now in your plan? Are stocks in it? Real estate? Season tickets to your favorite sports team?

Estate Plan management best practices can help prevent complications from being too specific. Every three to five years or whenever you have a major life event, you should review (and update if necessary) your Estate Plan. Be sure to revise your Estate Plan as soon as possible if you sell a house that was originally included in one.


Improperly Funding Your Trust

Creating a Trust is only half the battle; it is only useful once it funds your trust. Trusts are great components in any estate plan, but they are only useful if properly funded.

It is necessary to understand exactly what needs to complete to fund your trust. You will learn about titling your assets, obtaining a taxpayer identification number (TIN), handling personal property and assets that don’t have titles, and much more.


Don’t think about Taxes.

Having an estate tax liability can significantly impact the amount of money you will be able to leave your beneficiaries and your gifts’ impact on each of them.

Most often, estate tax liability won’t be a major issue. Unless your estate is very large ($11.58m per person or $22.36m per couple), you won’t have to pay federal estate taxes.

However, unless an extension is implemented, the exemption limit will return to $5 million in only a few years. It is also advisable to understand whether the state in which you and your beneficiaries live has a state estate tax and the limits that apply before making a Will or Trust.


Not securing your trust.

Your heirs will only be able to find your best trust plan if they can find it. Putting your Estate Plan in a safety deposit box can become complicated if they try to gain access after you pass away. In any case, you should keep all your Estate Planning documents together and in a secure place.

Ensure you store your trust plans in a fireproof safe or container. Remember to inform your spouse, another trusted family member, or friend where you will find this document.


Updating Your Plan Too Infrequently

As we mentioned earlier, Estate Planning is not a set-it-and-forget-it deal. You have to keep it up-to-date as your life changes. You might need to update the plan if you have experienced a major life event, such as a divorce, the birth of a child, or the death of a family member or beneficiary.

It’s also important to review your Estate Plan every three to five years (even if no major life event has occurred).

To give your family and loved ones the best care possible, you need to make an Estate Plan. But keep your good intentions from falling by the wayside due to any of these unintentional Estate Planning mistakes. Did we need anything else? Contact us now or chat with a live member support representative!


Living Trust Attorney Help You to Understand Estate Planning

Trust attorneys are your guides through the financial planning process. They help you understand your state’s laws, determine your goals, and establish a trust that fits your legal and personal needs.


Trust Attorneys Help You to Understand Estate Planning.


Trust attorneys understand estate planning and will help you determine your options based on your financial goals.

A lawyer can help you establish a legally binding trust that meets your goals. However, their job continues beyond the creation of the trust. Instead, they will help you manage the trust in the future to ensure it continues providing the benefits you want.


Why You Should Hire a Living Trust Attorney?

Hiring a living trust attorney has plenty of benefits, but they all boil down to peace of mind. It can be extremely stressful when you are not around to care for your loved ones. Estate lawyers can help ease that burden and ensure your wishes are fulfilled.


Making Sure the Trust is Valid

Obtaining the legal validity and binding effect of a trust begins with the assistance of a trust attorney. Estate planning may seem simple, but it can be complex–creating a legally binding document isn’t always straightforward.

The laws of every state differ when it comes to estate planning. For instance, certain assets are ineligible for inclusion in living trusts, making the entire trust worthless if the ineligible asset is included.

Moreover, depending on where you live, you may be able to use different witnesses and have different personal representatives. You may even need to sign the trust differently depending on your state.

Having a living trust attorney familiar with the local laws can ensure that your trust is valid and maintain its legal status if the laws change.


Navigating Complications

Is your estate complicated? The majority of people answer no. Here’s the problem: the majority needs to correction. Several factors can complicate your estate, even if you have no debts, few assets, and streamlined finances.

  • Married more than once
  • The divorce process
  • Recent losses in the family or spouse
  • Children of many parents
  • Children with problems
  • Child-minders
  • Childless
  • Owning a business
  • Investing in real estate (especially in multiple states)
  • Assets of significant value
  • Family members with disabilities
  • Charitable bequests
  • Having debts
  • Estates taxable

These circumstances will likely apply to you regardless of whether you think your estate is difficult. Your lawyer may think otherwise. Don’t let your estate go into turmoil if it’s not necessary.


Protecting Your Loved Ones

When you breach trust, what happens? If a defendant breaches a trust, they took legal possession of the victim’s property, converted it for their use, and repossessed it without reclaiming it from the victim.

It’s important to understand that trusts are under the trustees, who act on behalf of the grantor and beneficiaries. Trustees handle the assets in the trust, but the assets do not belong to them.

Trust is key, and you have to trust your trustee. The living trust attorney can assist you, regardless of whether they’re the trustees, to ensure that your wishes are followed, especially if your trust involves minors or disabled adult children.

Attorneys protect your wishes and your trust, which means your loved ones also enjoy the trust you have established.


Don’t Put Off Planning for the Future

When considering hiring a living trust attorney, the first question you must ask yourself is: what is your family’s future worth? The more money you leave behind, the more burdens your family has to deal with. Working with a trust attorney can help you heal after you pass.

Dominant Estate
Dominant Estate

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Servient Estate

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