Living Trust Attorney Overland Park
Protect Your Wealth With a Trust
Contrary to what many people think, Trusts are not reserved only for the wealthy. The truth is, people from all walks of life may benefit from a Trust. The Dorsch Law firm specializes in structuring Kansas Trusts and Missouri Trusts.
Unfortunately, we live in the most litigious country. America has more lawyers and files more lawsuits than any other country in the world. And what’s worse is that our justice system is not perfect.
In simple terms, a Trust is essentially the only way that probate can be avoided. Why is probate bad? If going through probate becomes necessary (which a Will essentially guaranties that probate is required), it means that your heirs will not be entitled to receive their inheritance for at least 1 ½ to 2 years, it will be a lump sum distribution and the courts will automatically deduct 8% – 10% of the value of your estate (plus the necessary attorney fees). There are many other downsides to having to go through probate (having a Will), like having to record the Will with the County’s Recorder’s Office, like it is a public document – which a Will is so everyone can have access to view your wishes of having your estate distributed.
In all reality, creating a Trust to ensures that your wishes will be followed through, and your heirs may receive their inheritance within a few days or weeks of your death (if that is your desire). At The Dorsch Law Firm, we know our clients view to protect their assets as a necessity. Ensuring that your wishes and desires are properly and completely addressed is the right answer to safeguarding your wealth for yourself and your family. In fact, without a Trust, your assets are more vulnerable to attack and can leave you or your heirs with nothing but lawsuits, headaches and stress.
What Is a Trust?
Basically, a Trust is a “legal entity” that can hold title to property for the benefit of one or more other persons or entities. The person who sets up the Trust is called the Creator (also known as the Grantor or Trustor).
The Trustee is the person who controls the Trust and is responsible for managing the Trust assets (it is usually you). The Trustee holds the legal title to the property that is in the Trust. This means that the Trustee can only use the assets and proceeds from the Trust property for the benefit of the people the Trust is set up to benefit (you).
The person(s) who are intended to benefit from the Trust are known as Beneficiaries. Beneficiaries own what is called the equitable title to the property held by the Trust. This means that they have a right to have the assets used for their benefit in the way directed by the Trust provisions, but only after your death.
The actual property that is transferred to the Trust becomes the Trust. A Trust estate consists of all of the property, rights, and obligations that are transferred into the Trust.
The Trust estate is managed in accordance with the terms and conditions set forth in the Trust, which is called the Trust agreement or declaration of Trust. This document sets out the purpose of the Trust, the identities and powers of the Trustees, the names of the Beneficiaries, how the Trust assets should be managed, and how they should be distributed to Beneficiaries. There are many other aspects covered in the Trust (like all inclusive tax aspects).
Trusts are also revocable or irrevocable. This means just what it sounds like; a revocable Trust can be revoked or changed and the Grantor can reclaim the Trust assets. In essence, if a Grantor changes their mind of who should receive a portion of the estate, or when they will be entitled to receive their share (or even decide that a Beneficiary shall ever receive a part of the Estate), that change can be simply done. An irrevocable Trust cannot be changed or revoked once it has been set up. The Grantor or others can arrange to be the Beneficiary of an irrevocable Trust during the Grantor’s lifetime, (or after death), but he or she cannot take the Trust assets back again or make any changes.
Benefits of a Trust
Although Trusts can be used in many ways, they are most commonly used to:
- Avoid probate costly delays and expenses
- Remain “private” – keeping your wishes confidential
- Provide for beneficiaries who are minors or require expert assistance managing money, in other words you can structure when Beneficiary(ies) receive their share of the Estate
- Avoid or minimize estate or income taxes
- Avoid the potential for a guardianship court hearing, if you become disabled, because you have already named someone to take your place
- Control assets and provide security for both the grantor and the beneficiaries
- If you have property in another state, a Trust would avoid probate in the other state (if that property is properly transferred to the Trust)
- Provide expert management of estates
- In the context of a second marriage, the Trust is an excellent way to protect the surviving spouse and children from a previous marriage
The main purpose of a Trust is to protect your assets or wealth, avoid probate, minimize or eliminate taxes, and ensure your wishes are followed. At The Dorsch Law Firm, we can explain your options and help you decide what is best for you and your family. It will be the best decision you’ve ever made regarding your wealth! Contact us today or call (913) 685-9190!
Probate and estate administration are the processes through which estate assets are transferred after death. When probate avoidance planning has not been implemented prior to death, the state will require a probate court proceeding if the deceased was a resident or owned assets in the state. Probate can be supervised or unsupervised. In an unsupervised probate, the appointed estate administrator manages assets, pays any debts, files required tax returns and various court documents, and distributes the estate assets. However, the court may at any time require the process to be supervised (usually when someone expresses concern about the estate administration). In a supervised probate, the probate judge must approve every detail of the estate administration.