Cape Cod Law Firm Providing Trustee Services Throughout Southeastern Massachusetts
A trust is a way of protecting your assets and defining what will happen to them once you become incapacitated or pass away. Among the many benefits of having a trust in place is that it can act like a will, defining how your property will be distributed, but it spares your beneficiaries from having to go through probate. Among the different types of trusts, you find revocable or irrevocable trusts. A revocable trust can be cancelled anytime and you can remove your assets from it, while an irrevocable trust is non-reversible and you cannot take back your assets.
What Should Be Assigned as Your Trustee?
You may choose to assign a family member or a corporate entity as your trustees. One advantage of having an estate planning attorney assigned as a successor trustee is that there are many different laws and regulations pertaining to managing a trust which can often be confusing and hard to navigate unless the successor trustee is well-versed in this area, which attorneys such as those of us at the Law Offices of Boyd & Boyd are.
What Are The Differences Between a Will and a Trust?
A will is a document that spells out your wishes for the division of your property as well as caretakers for your minor children after your passing. You may also direct some of your assets to charity to reduce estate tax owed. You can prepare a will yourself, but it must have a witness in order to avoid challenges later on. This kind of will is called a testamentary will, and it is prepared and signed in the presence of witnesses. A will needs to go through probate and has to be deemed valid by a court and approved by a judge before your assets can be transferred. It is a public document that will not be kept private, unlike a trust.
A trust is a private document that typically does not need to go through a court in order for your assets to be transferred. When you create your trust, you may choose to transfer the ownership of your assets to the trust and assign beneficiaries that will receive them after your death. It is typically an easier and less costly way to pass down your wealth and can be used in conjunction with a will.
Could I Lose Control of My Assets If I Set Up a Trust?
If you create a revocable living trust, it is unlikely that you will lose control of your assets, and you may cancel the trust and take them back anytime. You will still have the power to make changes, add or withdraw assets, amend the trust, reassign trustees or revoke the trust altogether. Once you pass away, your trust becomes irrevocable and no changes can be made by your trustees.
Even by assigning a legal entity such as the Law Offices of Boyd & Boyd as a successor or co-trustee, you will still be in full ownership of your assets until you become incapacitated or pass away. Creating a revocable trust and adding an experienced professional as a co-trustee can be a smart move to make the process easier for your family and to give you greater peace of mind.
Why Should I Consider Adding a Corporate Successor as a Trustee?
In a revocable trust, most creators often assign a relative as the trustee who will take over the responsibility of managing the trust. While that is absolutely possible, you may also consider adding a co-trustee such as an attorney who has vast experience navigating the ins-and-outs of trusts. A trust attorney will have a much deeper understanding of state and federal laws that can affect your estate and can be better equipped to ensure that every aspect of the trust and related laws are understood and explained in simple terms.
This takes the burden off of a relative trustee and ensures your wishes will be respected and your assets distributed the way you wanted them to be. Before assigning a trust attorney as a co-trustee, you should consider many aspects such as quality of service, firm stability, experience and presence in Massachusetts, and their level of expertise.
At the Law Offices of Boyd & Boyd, we have decades of experience managing trusts and helping families by removing the uncertainty and confusion that often comes along with many trust administration matters. Let us help you today by calling (508)775-7800.