Trust Attorneys in Melrose Assisting Individuals in Planning for Their Medical Needs
Even when an individual has a will, their estate is still subject to the probate process after they pass away. However, if a trust has been established, then the assets that you want to go to your heirs and other beneficiaries can avoid the probate process. Probate can be a very lengthy and expensive process for many families. However, this is not the case with a trust.
Establishing a trust is an excellent method for helping your family receive assets and property in an easier manner than if you simply left instructions in a will. Contrary to popular belief, a trust is not just for the very wealthy. Establishing a trust is an excellent use of estate planning tools that can enable you to ensure that your final wishes are carried out.
What is a Trust?
Trusts, sometimes known as living trusts, are created by what is known as a grantor in Massachusetts. The grantor is the individual who is putting assets into the trust. One of the most important aspects of establishing a trust is to determine who will be the trustee, the individual who will be responsible for managing the trust while you are alive and then distributing the assets of the trust after your death. In most cases, the individual who creates the trust (the grantor) names themselves as the trustee, with a successor trustee named to replace them after they die.
By establishing a trust, you still have the ability to control your own assets. While you are alive, there are no set legal limitations as to what you can do with the assets that are included in the trust. Such assets often include real estate, automobiles, jewelry, and other items of value.
After your death, the trustee of the trust is then obligated to distribute the assets included in the trust to the various beneficiaries that you have specified before your death. A living trust is much more difficult to contest than a will. So you have an extra layer of protection when it comes to ensuring that your assets are properly distributed.
What Kinds of Trusts Are There in Massachusetts?
There are several different types of trusts that may be established in Massachusetts. A trust should be established based on your specific individual needs. In order to learn what is right for your circumstances, it is best to consult with a knowledgeable trusts lawyer who can explain the various options and help you make an informed decision. Some of the various types of trusts in Massachusetts include:
Of all of the various trusts available in Massachusetts, this one is the most often used. This type of trust has the ability to be altered, changed, or completely terminated at any time for any reason during the grantor’s life. The grantor does not need to ask permission from any of the named beneficiaries. However, this is predicated on the grantor having the mental capacity to do so.
Under the terms of this particular trust, the trustor who established the trust is required to release their rights to the assets included within the trust as soon as it has been established. In doing so, this means that the trustor no longer has a legal right to the personal property or assets that are included within the trust. As such, they relinquish their rights to make changes or terminate the trust during their lifetime.
Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust
This type of trust is established solely to deal with life insurance. The trustor may remove their life insurance from their estate. After this has been completed, the beneficiary of the trust may be free from having to pay any taxes that would have been present if the life insurance had remained in the estate.
Special Needs Trust
If you have a loved one who has a disability and you would like to ensure that they are provided for after your death, this is a good option. This type of financial support can be an extra source of income for your loved one even if they are receiving assistance from government programs if they are structured correctly. Establishing this type of trust can help you achieve peace of mind that your loved one can be taken care of even after your death.
What are the Advantages of Establishing a Trust Instead of Creating a Will?
There are several advantages that a trust has over creating a will. Some of the benefits of a trust include the following:
- Ensuring that funds and other assets are distributed at predetermined times or on the occurrence of specified events.
- Avoiding payment of estate taxes
- Avoiding expenses and delays involved in the probate process
- Ensuring that loved ones with special needs are properly taken care of in the future.
Another little-known benefit of establishing a trust is the issue of privacy. Once a will has fully gone through the process of probate, it becomes a matter of public record where anyone can learn about the assets and other property that is distributed to your heirs or other beneficiaries. However, in cases of a trust, the assets and other property that is distributed remain private.
Do I Have to Hire an Attorney to Create a Trust?
Although it is not legally necessary to hire a trust attorney to create a trust in Massachusetts, it is highly advised that you first speak with an experienced attorney before doing so. If a trust is created that does not live up to the legal expectations of the State of Massachusetts, then it may be considered to be invalid.
Our family law lawyers are highly skilled in the area of establishing trusts and helping clients determine which one is the correct option for them. Contact our law offices by calling (781) 531-8673 and ask to speak with a member of our legal team who can explain the various options and which would work best for you.
We have extensive experience in establishing various charitable trusts that can suit your individual needs and preferences, as well. In order to determine which is the best choice for you and your personal circumstances, contact The Martino Law Group, LLC of Melrose, MA, for a free consultation. We can discuss your needs and what works best for you.