Do I Need A Trust? - When You Should & Shouldn't Set Up A Living Trust
5 Reasons A Living Trust Might Not Be Necessary
1. Probate is not that expensive if you have a good Will and competent counsel.
2. Living trusts currently are not needed by most individuals for estate tax planning.
Under current estate tax regulations, unless you have an estate worth more than $12 million per person, you have no need for a living trust to avoid estate taxes. This could change in the future if Congress decides estate taxes are necessary again to help erase budget deficits. The likelihood of estate tax levels going back to less than $5 million estate minimum, in my opinion, is low. So, for most of us, estate tax issues are no longer a driving force to need a living trust.
Even if you do have an estate large enough to trigger estate tax considerations, you do not always have to have a living trust to minimize estate tax liability. There are many estate tax minimization techniques available.
4. Most probates of properly drawn Wills do not require a lengthy process.
5. If assets are not added to the trust as they are acquired, the purpose of having a living trust can be defeated.
3 Reasons You Might Need A Trust
1. You own property in different states or many counties in Texas.
If title to real property in other states is not held in a living trust, your family might be compelled to probate your Will in all the different states in which such assets exist. Not all states have as simplified a probate process as Texas, and they may in fact be much more expensive than Texas's. In this instance, there may be substantial savings realized by placing these assets in a living trust.
3. You want to provide special conditions on the receipt of assets that you prefer to remain private.
How To Decide If A Trust Is Right For You:
- Seek out an estate planning attorney with knowledge of Texas law to draft the documents.
- Prepare a full summary of your assets to take to the attorney when you meet.
- Advise the attorney of any special situations in your family that might benefit from having a trust.
- Avoid using standard forms, kits, or computer software that is one-size-fits-all.
If you would like to consult with an attorney about whether or not a living trust is a good fit in your estate planning package, please click the button below to book an appointment with Adair M. Buckner.
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