What Does a Trust Attorney Do?
The term trust attorney does not refer to a lawyer who is trustworthy (although this is an important characteristic to have in your attorney). A trust attorney is an estate planning professional who can help you create the necessary paperwork to set up a trust for your estate.
A trust, unlike a will, allows your surviving family members to avoid the probate process after you pass away. In fact, trusts are kept private and out of public record. Trusts can include provisions to lower estate taxes which helps your loved ones receive more of what you intended to leave them. Trusts are especially useful documents for people who have large estates.
The downside of trusts is that they can be expensive and complicated documents to draw up and ensure their validity. While it is possible to write your own trust, a trust attorney will go beyond the basics and delve deeper into your unique situation to help you start thinking about how you want your estate divided, who you want to receive it and in what timeframe you want it distributed. If you have young children or adult children with special needs, trust terms that protect and provide for them will be discussed. Discussions can also revolve around ways to control your wealth and protect your legacy from creditors or beneficiaries who might misuse their inheritance.
A trust attorney can also help you understand the different types of trusts. Besides revocable and irrevocable, there are also documents such as credit shelter trusts, charitable remainder trusts, generation-skipping trusts and many others that should be considered.
Naming a Professional Fiduciary
If you do not have someone in your life that you feel comfortable naming to serve as a trustee of your trust, you can name a professional fiduciary to serve as trustee to handle the details of trust management while you are living and incapacitated and the distribution of your assets after you pass away.
Many individuals feel more comfortable giving this large responsibility to a professional, rather than a family member or trusted friend, due to the sheer size of the job, the legal complexities and to try to minimize conflicts among family.
A trust attorney can assist a fiduciary, whether an individual or professional, handle the whole gamut of trust administration after you pass including:
- Notifying all beneficiaries as well as government entities and other organizations of the person’s death. This includes Social Security Administration, the Department of Health, Veterans Affairs, life/health insurance companies, mortgage companies, banks, credit card companies, etc.
- Management of the entire trust estate including assessments of property values, reconciling all outstanding debts/bills, reporting gains and losses, filing taxes, etc.
- Distribution of all assets to the beneficiaries
- Compliance with all state and federal laws regarding trusts
- Litigation duties if there are any contests to the trust
To find a reputable, honest trust attorney in Denver, contact the estate planning lawyers at The Brown Law Firm, LLC. Contact us at (303) 339-3750 or send us a message online to meet with our experts.