There are a number of different estate planning tools that can be useful for achieving your objectives, but one of the most versatile and effective is a trust. Trusts have several important advantages, including the ability to manage and move things in and out of the trust and the ability to protect the assets in the trust from the probate process. While effective, trusts can also be complex, so it’s important that you work with a St. Augustine trust attorney.
At the Law Office of Douglas A. Oberdorfer, P.A., our legal team can help you establish a trust that keeps your assets safe and provides for your family after you’ve passed.
Trusts are powerful tools for estate planning and asset management in St. Augustine, FL. However, they can also be complex and can require more regular administration than something like a will. To take advantage of everything that a trust has to offer, you will want to have a qualified lawyer creating, modifying, and managing the trust.
A trust attorney can help you establish a trust. Depending on your objectives, you may want a single trust or several. There are, for instance, different kinds of trusts, such as revocable trusts, irrevocable trusts, charitable trusts, special needs trusts, and others. Trust attorneys can help you better understand what kinds of trusts and how many will be helpful in your situation.
Trusts allow you to distribute assets to beneficiaries upon certain conditions, even while you’re still living. For example, your children could gain access to a trust when they turn 18.
There are also complex laws around the creation and structuring of trusts. It’s critical that your trust is set up properly so that you can avoid issues later when it is administered and managed. A poorly designed trust may also be susceptible to legal challenges. We help design well-crafted trusts that will operate as you expect them to.
Trusts are an ongoing process as well since they will need to be managed and modified as you add or remove assets from the trust, change how beneficiaries will be handled within the trust, or make other adjustments. These modifications are something else you can count on your lawyer for help with. The more effectively these situations are handled, the more difficult it will be to dispute the trust, and the less you will need to be concerned about conflict over your estate when you’re gone.
Trusts are just one aspect of estate planning that we are able to help with. Depending on your goals for your estate, it’s possible that a comprehensive estate plan will involve more elements such as wills, powers of attorney, healthcare directives, and instructions for what should be done about minor children. We can help with all of these things, along with giving counsel and advice regarding how to structure an estate plan that aligns with your interests and objectives.
Our relationship with our clients is often an ongoing one. Trusts and estate plans are rarely static, as they shift, change, and adjust throughout your life. As you acquire or sell assets, your trust and estate plan will need to adjust accordingly. Relationships also change over time, and this may affect how you would like your assets to be distributed.
We are here to serve our clients’ estate planning needs as they change to fit their lives. No one knows exactly when they will pass away. However, we provide our clients with peace of mind by ensuring their wishes will be followed upon their death, regardless of changes in their lives.
A: Ensuring that a trust is valid means it must be properly structured. This is one of the things that your lawyer is responsible for ensuring. Generally, the required parts for most trusts include:
A: While both wills and trusts have their advantages, the right option is dependent upon your situation and objectives. There are even some situations where both may be the right choice. An estate planning lawyer with experience working with both can help you understand the right option for your situation.
A: The primary disadvantage of a trust is the cost and complexity that can be involved. Because of their complexity, lawyers will spend many hours creating a trust, for which you will be charged. However, the advantages a trust provides, like avoiding probate, can make the costs worth it in many instances. There also may be specific situational disadvantages that your lawyer should discuss with you.
A: Yes, the assets that are placed in a trust are not subject to the probate process, so many people use trusts for the purpose of avoiding both the expense and the public nature of probate. If you have any other assets outside of your trust or trusts, they will still need to go through probate.
If you’re considering estate planning, you are probably wondering if a trust might be right for you and your family. Helping you create a proper trust is something we can help with at the Law Office of Douglas A. Oberdorfer, P.A.
However, it’s important to remember that a trust may or may not be optimal, depending on your estate planning goals, and rarely is it the only estate planning device that you need. That’s why we work to develop and execute a full estate plan for our clients. Contact us for your trust and estate planning needs.
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