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Trust Attorney in Leesburg

What is a Trust?

A trust is a legal arrangement that allows one person (the trustor) to transfer ownership of their assets to another person (the trustee) to hold and manage for the benefit of a third person (the beneficiary). 

A trust is a useful tool in estate planning because it allows the trust creator to specify how their assets should be managed and distributed after death. 

Trusts can also help to avoid probate, protect assets from creditors, and provide for loved ones.

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There are different types of Trusts used for various situations:

Revocable Living Trust

Provides directions regarding your intentions for the future.

A revocable living trust is a convenient, flexible, and protective tool commonly used in estate planning. When you fund a revocable living trust, you can add or subtract assets as you like, change the terms of the trust, and dissolve the trust altogether during your lifetime.

Family Bank Trust

Beneficiaries including a spouse and/or children have access to the funds.

High net-worth families and individuals in high-risk professions such as real estate developers, business owners, doctors, and lawyers can often benefit from a family bank trust. It offers both asset protection and access.

Grandchildren's Trust

Create a legacy for your grandchildren and prevent them from misusing funds at a young age.

This type of trust protects your grandchildren's inheritance from lawsuits, car accident, medical crisis, bankruptcy, divorce, business failure, or another similar event. It also protects the assets from estate taxes. It's easy to dissolve the trust and use the funds for education, the formation of a business, or anything else as specified by you during the creation process.

It is important to carefully consider which type of Power of Attorney is best for your needs and to work with an experienced estate planning attorney to ensure that your document is properly prepared and executed.

Our goal is to make sure your perfect tomorrow is protected no matter what may come. 

Frequently Asked Questions about Trusts

Trusts can be useful in many ways. Setting up a trust will most likely help your family avoid dealing with probate once you pass away. This will save them money and time, reducing stress during such a difficult time. Further, suppose you have property out of state. In that case, a trust can be useful to handle that property without going through probate in other states.

Trusts are also useful since they provide the privacy that a will cannot. A will becomes public once a probate case is opened in a court and the will is filed.  

Another benefit of using a trust is that it lives beyond incapacitation. For example, suppose you cannot make decisions for yourself. In that case, your family will not have to get a guardianship through a court proceeding, and the trust can continue to help manage your assets. The trust also lives beyond your death and allows you to control your estate when you pass away. Lastly, a trust can provide asset protection for your beneficiaries. 

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A few types of trusts can be created in an estate plan. We focus primarily on revocable living trusts. A revocable living trust can be changed or dissolved while you are alive. 

This type of trust gives you control and allows you to still possess the assets you put in the trust. In addition, you can be named as the trustee of the trust and list a trustee successor to manage the trust when you cannot do so. 

The trust acts as a will but with the added benefit of asset protection for your beneficiaries. Generally, these trusts become irrevocable, meaning unchangeable, once you pass away. 

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This is one of the main benefits of a Revocable Living Trust. Suppose you created a revocable living trust when you were younger. In that case, inevitable life changes will occur after its creation.  

When you experience life-changing events, such as beneficiaries passing away, divorce, or receiving additional assets, all you need to do is contact us. We can have a discussion about what the changes are and how the terms of your trust need to be changed and amended.  

We will help you quickly make the adjustments to keep your future and assets secure. 

Contact us to learn more about how we can help you and your loved ones with estate planning.

The following elements need to be in place for a trust:  

  • The person creating the trust must have capacity
  • There must be an intention to make the trust
  • The same person is not the only trustee and the only beneficiary
  • The trust must have a definite beneficiary
  • The trustee must have duties to perform 

Capacity exists when the person understands what their assets are, their value, and who the beneficiaries are.  Generally, anyone 18 and over with capacity can create a trust.   

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Trust Funding is the crucial act of ensuring all your assets are titled in the name of your trust. 

Most of your assets naturally will be titled in your name and/or your spouse’s name. Therefore, you will need to address each asset and change the assets from your name as an individual to the name of the trust. 

Any asset without beneficiary designations or survivorship provisions needs to be looked into to determine how you want them to be retitled.  Further, the assets with these provisions may also be changed in the titling or designations, but make sure there are no restrictions regarding these actions. 

Contact us to create your trust, look over your assets and decide what should be placed within it.

A trust has specific requirements listed within it for the trustee to follow.  One of the main requirements of a trustee is to manage the property and/or funds in the trust and distribute what is required to the beneficiaries. It is important to discuss your trust with a tax advisor to ensure whether you need a tax identification number and/or to file a tax return. 

Generally, a trustee must prepare an accounting of the assets and distributions.  The trustee has a fiduciary duty to the trust, so if something is not accounted for, there could be personal liability. A trustee can also receive an administrative fee if the trust is complex.  

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The first step to setting up a trust is to give us a call and set up a consultation. The next step is to make sure you gather all the information you will need for our consultation. This includes knowing the names of individuals you want to be involved in the trust, from the beneficiaries to any successor trustees you wish to be listed. This also includes updating all the information regarding your assets, such as current titling and value.  

The third step is to review the trust document we have created, ask questions, and determine any changes that need to be made. We will make sure you have plenty of time to review the document. Please make sure you ask any and all questions you may have so that we can answer them and confirm the document is drafted per your wishes. 

The fourth step is the simplest: to sign the document. However, the trust document must be signed and notarized. Next and lastly, the trust must be funded.  

Please make sure that you refrain from trying to create a trust document online. Although it may seem more cost-effective, we have seen too many mistakes occur taking this step. We want to ensure that your and your loved ones’ futures are secure.

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Yes, you can protect your pet if you pass away, and there is a great way to do so. You can include your pet in a trust. You can leave money for their care and include specific instructions for your pet, such as feeding and veterinary information.     

Within the trust, you can designate one or two people to care for the pet. By having this trust, you can better the quality of life of your pet(s) and feel confident that they are taken care of if you become incapacitated or pass away.  

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Most of the laws surrounding trusts in Virginia fall under the Uniform Trust Code (UTC). It contains the rules and requirements that trusts must follow to be effective. 

It is available for you to read online. However, we would be happy to provide all the information you need so that you do not need to worry. We will also ensure we stay informed of any updates to the Trust Code that could affect a trust you create with us. 

We would be happy to discuss what you need to know so you can stay confident your trust stays up-to-date and effective. 

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The short answer is no. Some assets do not need to be placed in the trust you create. These assets are generally assets that have beneficiary designations. 

Assets such as life insurance policies, IRAs, Keoghs, 401(k) accounts, and other retirement accounts usually ask you to list a beneficiary designation when it is created. Then, when you pass away, these designations will automatically transfer any funds in these accounts to whomever you have designated.  

Further, suppose you have any bank accounts set up with a payable-on-death provision. In that case, those should also automatically pass on to the individuals listed when you pass away.  

However, discussing these assets with all your other assets is essential to determine if they should remain as they are or if they should be changed and transferred into a trust.  

Contact us to learn more about how we can help you and your loved ones with estate planning.

Call us at (571) 777-1000 or click here to get started today.

Now is the time.

Protect yourself and those you love.

No matter where you are in life’s journey, we can help.

At Legacy Law Centers, our aim is to help clients and their families prepare for the future. 

Whether you need to create an estate plan for the first time, develop a strategy for your business, or are a physician or high-net-worth individual looking for specialized estate planning, we are ready to assist you.

Take your first step by contacting us for a complimentary consultation today.

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