Trusts & Estate Planning
In estate planning, the use of a legal trust is one of the best ways to protect your assets. The use of trusts has increased over the past few decades; however, estate planners must understand the benefits and potential downside of using a trust. At Bennett Weston, our Dallas trust attorneys listen to the needs of each client. We work with our clients to draft the best kind of trust for their unique needs and values. Properly managed and well-drafted trusts can be valuable tools in your estate planning toolkit.
Texas law recognizes several different types of trusts. Our trust and estate planning attorneys will help you determine which type of trust works best for you, your family, and your asset protection goals. Commonly used trusts include the following:
- Testamentary Trusts transfer assets and property following the death of the grantor. Couples and individuals who desire to preserve the bulk of their estate so that their loved ones may inherit it often use testamentary trusts. One of the main benefits of creating a testamentary trust is to protect the assets in the trust from creditors. Upon the death of the grantor, creditors may not access the assets of the trust. You, as the grantor will also have the ability to choose the trustee who will manage the trust after your death. Finally, you can set up a testamentary trust to distribute assets according to a schedule rather than in a lump sum.
- Revocable Living Trusts are popular due to the many benefits they provide. All assets placed in a revocable living trust are exempt from the probate process. The state of Texas will not be involved in the distribution of assets from the trust. Irrevocable trusts allow a designated trustee to manage the assets of the trust if the grantor or creator becomes incapacitated.
- Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts will allow you to separate your life insurance policy payout from the rest of your estate. The irrevocable life insurance trust owns your life insurance policy. Doing so reduces the total amount of your assets that are subject to estate taxes. It also allows you to pass the proceeds from your life insurance policy to your loved ones without going through the probate process. You can also designate that the trust distributes the life insurance proceeds over a period of time, so your beneficiary does not receive a lump sum all at once.
- Special Needs Trusts appoint a trustee that will care for a mentally or physically disabled loved one after you pass away. The trustee will make sure that the assets of the special needs trust pay for the living expenses and medical care of your loved ones. Trusts offer the benefit of caring for a loved one for the remainder of his or her life. Also, your loved one will not lose SSI or Medicaid eligibility because they will not receive a lump sum from the special needs trust.
Contact an Experienced Trust Attorney
Our skilled trust attorneys will help you determine which type of trust works best for your estate planning goals. We will help you set up a trust that you can manage, and that fulfills your wishes for asset protection. If you wish to create a trust or estate plan, contact Bennett Weston to set up an initial consultation today.