When Should You Make a Living Trust?

A living revocable trust is a legal document that transfers the ownership of certain assets into the name of a trust. If you set up a living trust, you will still have full use of all of these assets during your lifetime. When you pass away, the assets that are assigned to the trust will then be automatically transferred to your selected beneficiaries in accordance with your wishes.

A living trust is a great estate planning tool for many Texas families because it eliminates the need to go through the probate process. Probate can be time-consuming and it can be costly. The process is also public record. For this reason, a living trust offers major benefits to many people. Is it the right time to set up a living trust? That is a complicated question; it depends entirely on your specific circumstances.

Be Sure to Consider the Value of Your Assets and the Complexity of Your Estate

Living trusts offer several benefits, including the ability to bypass probate and the ability to retain considerable privacy over one’s affairs. So, why doesn’t everyone use a living trust rather than a will to transfer their property and to distribute assets to their beneficiaries? It would seem that the advantages are clear. One of the big reasons is that a living trust has higher front-end costs. Another reason is that people with less complex estates may not benefit as much. As such, a living trust is not the best option for every person.

For example, imagine a person who is a 29-year-old newlywed. This individual has a young child, they possess $10,000 in total assets, and they want to make their spouse their sole beneficiary. In this case, it would almost certainly not be the right time in their life to set up a living trust. This individual should absolutely still create an estate plan — but their needs can be cared for using other, simpler tools, such as a traditional will and powers of attorney.

On the other hand, those who have more assets — especially people who have assets like real estate or business interests — should strongly consider setting up a revocable living trust. The more valuable and complex your estate, the more likely that probate will be expensive, lengthy, and ineffective.

If you own real estate in multiple cities or states, you may be required to go through probate in each jurisdiction. The more complex the estate, the more likely probate will be a serious burden. Probate could even be far more expensive than the cost of setting up a trust. Worse than that, probate can create confusion and conflict between friends and family members. That is the last thing anyone wants to leave their loved ones. This is why living trusts are the right choice for many people in Texas.

Remember that Living Trusts are Revocable and Flexible

A key advantage of a living trust is that it is a revocable and flexible estate planning tool. Your living trust is not set in stone. If your circumstances change — whatever the reason — you will have the ability to amend your trust, or even revoke it altogether. You will always be able to ensure that your living trust is appropriate for the current needs of yourself and your family.

If you are trying to decide whether or not it is the correct time to set up a living trust, we encourage you to have a conversation with an experienced San Antonio estate planning lawyer. Your lawyer will be able to review your unique, individual situation in order to help you determine if a living trust is the best estate planning option for you and your loved ones. It may the right time to make a living trust right now — or it may be better to consider other estate planning options.

Get Help From a Living Trust Attorney in Texas

At Weisinger Law Firm, PLLC, our skilled Texas estate planning attorneys have extensive experience assisting clients with a wide range of trust planning issues. If you are considering making a living trust, we are ready to conduct a comprehensive review of your situation to determine if it is the best estate planning option for you.

To arrange a strictly confidential consultation, please do not hesitate to contact our law firm today at (210) 201-2635. From our office in the heart of San Antonio, we serve individuals and families throughout the region, including in Medina County, Bexar County, Gonzales County, Wilson County, Hays County, and Blanco County.

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