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Life is full of uncertainties. But it is possible to make it a certainty that your loved ones do not have a hard time after your death. This can be done by hiring a trust attorney to prepare estate planning and set up a trust. Here’s some useful information on how estate planning can help you and how to hire a good trust attorney. ~ Ed.
Estate planning is an important aspect of getting ready for retirement and beyond.
There are several reasons why this step should not be overlooked. But first, let’s put things into perspective for further clarity.
Everybody has an estate. An estate is essentially all of your material and immaterial possessions. This includes your house or jewelry, bank accounts or stocks, and anything else that is in your name.
According to Wikipedia, estate planning is the process of anticipating and arranging, during a person’s life, for the management and disposal of that person’s estate during the person’s life and at and after death, while minimizing gift, estate, generation-skipping transfer, and income tax.
Understandably, one of the best things every person can do before they pass is detail how their assets should be distributed after their death. It saves time, money, potential battles and helps avoid a probate process during a time when loved ones should be grieving.
Now that you know why estate planning is important, let it be clear that it can include your will, a living will, and trusts.
One way to set up a trust is to hire the services of a legal professional. A trust attourney or attorney would help provide you with the options best suited for you and set up a trust for you.
6 Things to Know for Hiring the Best Trust Attorney for Your Estate Planning
Here is everything you need to know about a trust attorney – what they could do for you, what to look for in them, and of course, how to find them. These six questions and answers should help your trust attorney hiring task much easier.
How to Find One
It is always a good idea to request a referral.
When conducting business with a professional for the first time, it is tough to go into something as important as a trust blind. Chances are high others in the same community are also getting ready to retire.
If someone has already completed their estate planning or is at least far ahead in the process, they may be willing to share their guru.
A referral is a vote of confidence. Online reviews are helpful, too. If someone is recommended, the chances of having a positive and efficient experience are higher.
Otherwise, a legal professional who is well-versed in trusts can be found listed in the Yellow Pages and various online directories.
What Credentials Should They Have
Estate planning involves legal, accounting and finance aspects. Therefore, the professional must be licensed as a lawyer or an accountant. Sometimes, the point of contact will be a lawyer. Within his legal practice, an accountant will also be employed.
Working with a professional who is licensed to practice estate planning services in the corresponding state helps ensure that the document will be valid. Plus, the quality will be top-tier. If you reside in California then a San Diego trust attourney may well be perfect for you.
What Knowledge Should They Possess
As mentioned before, estate planning is a combination of legal, accounting, and finance knowledge. A professional in this field, therefore, should possess knowledge in all three areas.
Often, a lawyer is the point person because a trust must be legally sound. A trust that can be invalidated means something went wrong. The point of a trust is to avoid probate and other legal battles.
A family should be able to mourn the passing of their loved one. They should not be mired in legal complications or financial stress. When speaking to a trust legal professional, therefore, find out where they received their law degree, what certifications they possess and if they have taken any continuing education courses in related fields lately.
What Do They Do
A trust attorney can complete every step of the trust process. From helping clients format the document correctly to ensuring the address of the property that is going to fund the trust is accurate, the best lawyer is going to be able to guide clients and offer suggestions.
The services of this professional are most needed when the estate of a client is massive, cumbersome and dependent on several people. CEOs, for example, are heavily insured, have exit strategies as well as a team of accountants and lawyers who handle their finances, legal issues, and personal lives.
The trust attorney can often be named the trustee when the estate is large or the trust-maker believes they may soon become mentally incapacitated.
What Are Some Services They Offer
The services a trust lawyer offers include document proofing and giving advice.
A trust lawyer is also an estate planning professional. This allows them to handle other aspects of the estate and retirement planning process because they are intertwined. Those who are putting together a trust, if in case they become mentally incapacitated may also consider setting up a healthcare directive, which a lawyer can handle, too.
So, some other services a client can receive are taking a look at tax laws, the estate and how they each could be impacted. The goal is to minimize the tax burden on all ends. A power of attorney and healthcare directive can also be drafted.
How Much Do They Charge
It depends. Some have to charge according to the costs of doing business in their respective states.
The magnitude of the services also has to be taken into consideration. The more hours they are going to spend on your case, the higher the total cost. In cases where the lawyer is named the trustee, he may offer a discount if he is kept on a retainer.
Conclusion – What are the Benefits of Hiring Trust Attorney
Without estate planning, the chances are that settling your affairs may be a bit hard on your loved ones after you go.
You’ll need the services of a trust attourney or attorney to help you set up a legally sound trust.
Other benefits of hiring a trust attorney are saving time, taxes, and avoiding the time-consuming and costly probate process.
In cases where a trust-maker requires a third-party to become the trustee, a lawyer is a professional who does not have a stake except in the wishes of his client. Thus, hiring a lawyer as the trust attorney makes sense for many in need of a trust.
Over to you
Have you created a trust for your loved ones? Do share your thoughts and experiences in this matter.