WORKING WITH A TRUST ATTORNEY: YOUR QUESTIONS, ANSWERED
July 25, 2018
An estimated 55% to 70% of Americans don't have an estate plan or even a simple will. That being said, many people with large estates or complex financial assets hire a trust attorney to ensure a neutral third party asset control and distribution. Before you decide that it's time for you to hire a trust attorney, however, it's important to know the facts about their legal area of expertise. Here's a quick FAQ to help you understand the basics about what a wills and trusts lawyer can do.
What exactly does a trust attorney do?
The top three reasons clients engage in estate planning are to: avoid probate (59%), minimize discord among beneficiaries (57%), and protect children from mismanaging their inheritances (39%). With that in mind, if you or your loved one has any financial assets -- e.g., a house, a car, a checking account, etc. -- they'll need to have a revocable trust and a will."A trusts and estates attorney specializes in drafting wills, revocable and irrevocable trusts, and related tax planning. A revocable living trust is a legal vehicle into which you can place assets. You'll serve as trustee until you're unable to manage your own assets, at which time a secondary trustee -- perhaps a sibling or another relative -- takes over," writes Susan Kostal on Caring.com.
How can I determine whether or not I need to hire a trust attorney?
As mentioned, many people hire a trust attorney to prevent their families from having to go through the probate process. People also hire trust attorneys to lower their estate taxes or to be able to dictate when their beneficiaries will get their inheritance.
What's the cost of working with a trust attorney?
Finally, the cost of a trust attorney is typically calculated by the hour or with a flat fee. You should expect to pay more if you live in an urban area. As always, make sure you're aware of the costs before signing any contracts or agreements. Ultimately, there are about 1,315,561 lawyers in the United States, but the job of a trust lawyer is complex and specialized. Understanding how to determine whether or not you need the help of a reliable trust lawyer can help you make the best decisions for your financial needs. For more information about finding the right law group, contact Heritage.