Do You Need an Estate Planning Lawyer to Form a Trust?

If you want to form a trust, you may wonder if you actually need an estate planning lawyer. Maybe you have seen trust forms that you can print from the Internet, or you have a family member who prepared her own trust at home. But the truth is that using an estate planning lawyer is the safest and most reliable way to make a legally enforceable trust that accomplishes your goals.

Even a Single Misworded or Missing Sentence in a Trust Document Can Cause Major Problems

Trusts are structures that allow trustees to legally own and manage assets contributed by trust creators for the ultimate benefit of chosen beneficiaries. Trust creators give up all legal rights to the assets when they contribute them to the trust (unless the trust creators are also trustees or beneficiaries, which sometimes happens).

Because a trust document concerns legal ownership of assets, making one misstep in the wording of the document could have very serious consequences. For example, the wording could allow creditors of the trust creator or beneficiary to access the trust assets in satisfaction of debts, decimating the trust’s value. Or a mistakenly worded trust could cost the trust creator’s estate thousands of dollars in estate taxes. Fortunately, using a lawyer can help you avoid these pitfalls.

How Can a Lawyer Help with Your Trust?

Using a lawyer rather than trying to form a trust on your own has many advantages. For instance, a lawyer can:

  • Discuss with you the best type of trust to use (there are many)
  • Draft the trust language in accordance with current laws and court decisions
  • Explain the language to you in detail
  • Make changes to best accomplish your goals
  • Make sure the final document is properly executed
  • Help you choose an appropriate trustee
  • Answer questions about trust funding, management, and distributions as time goes on

One aspect of forming trusts that many people need advice about is funding a trust. You might need advice about which assets to contribute to the trust, how to change these assets’ ownership, and what the consequences of contributing them will be for your estate. An estate planning lawyer is the best person to answer these questions for you.

Want to start planning your estate by forming a trust? Local attorney Andrew Szocka, Esq. provides thorough and speedy estate planning help in the Chicagoland area. To schedule a free initial consultation, visit the Law Office of Andrew Szocka, P.C. online or call the office at (815) 455-8430.

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