If a person’s estate is not handled correctly, it can be stalled for months or even years in court. So, you need to know about estates and trusts so that your wishes can be carried out properly. The people who should benefit from the distribution of that estate should not be denied. Therefore, a trust is a method of handling your estate so that it goes to the right people. Naturally, you want to avoid the estate getting tied up in court and legal battles.
Trusts and estates can be taken care of professionally in a way that doesn’t leave you in the dark. At Bolinger Law Firm, our goal is to empower you.
What is a Trust?
The word “trust” refers to a legal agreement. A person who owns valuables, gives those valuables to another person for safekeeping. The person who originally owns the valuables is called a “grantor.”
The person who receives the things and takes care of them for the granter is called a “trustee.” The trustee has rules they must follow with those valuables.
After the death of the grantor, the trustee has several responsibilities. They have instructions to give the valuables out to certain designated people. The people receiving the valuables are called “beneficiaries.”
Grantor & Trustee Responsibilities
First, the grantor’s responsibility is to make sure all of the legal parts of the trust are taken care of. This includes drawing up a list of their valuables. Second, a trustee will be chosen. Then, beneficiaries are picked.
Which valuables each of those beneficiaries will receive (and when they will receive them) is decided by the grantor. Naturally, the grantor should find an estate lawyer to assist in the process.
The trustee’s responsibility is to protect the valuables given to them in trust by the grantor. They also must make sure they understand all parts of the instructions they receive. If there is any portion of their responsibilities they don’t understand, they should contact the estate lawyer who drew up the documents. Finally, their responsibility is to give the valuables to the beneficiaries like the grantor intended.
Because the grantor’s valuables are given to another person, they do not go through probate court.
Kinds of Trusts
There are several kinds of trusts that people can start. Two particularly important ones are a revocable trust and an irrevocable trust.
“Revoke” means to take back. A “revocable trust” means just that. It is a trust that can be changed by the grantor.
“Irrevocable” means something cannot be taken back. An “irrevocable trust” cannot be changed easily. It can only be altered if every beneficiary named in the trust agrees to the changes.
Both revocable trusts and irrevocable trusts have benefits and liabilities with regard to using them. Therefore, it's best to ask your estate plan attorney for more information.
How Do I Start a Trust?
First, one should draw up an estate plan. When you work with Bolinger Law Firm, a trust attorney will help you. We will make sure that all your assets are known and accounted for. You will make your wishes known to us so that we can draw up a plan to carry out those intentions. And, we make sure you know all the laws involved so that you can make effective decisions. You can decide which of your assets to put into a trust, should you decide to go that route. Above all, It is our duty to help you through the process from beginning to end. Trusts and estates can be taken care of professionally by our experienced staff.
Bolinger Law is Here to Help
Drawing up a trust is just one of the many ways we can help you protect your assets and carry out your wishes for your estate. We offer a free consultation and are here for you as a trusted voice now and with your estate plan in the future. Contact us today or call us at (636) 386-8322 to speak to a trust lawyer.
Located in Manchester, Missouri, we proudly serve clients throughout the St. Louis area such as Chesterfield, Wildwood, Earth City, Maryland Heights, Ellisville, Ballwin, Manchester.