As a Franklin, TN, homeowner, business owner, or parent, you want to make sure that your assets convey to your beneficiaries. There are many ways to do this, and one of the most efficient is to include a trust in your estate planning strategy. Unfortunately, it’s very easy to make mistakes if you don’t have an expert on your side.
Today, estate planning attorney Trent Linville shares a few of the top mistakes you should avoid when planning your living trust.
There are many websites online that offer to walk you through the process. However, unless you are fully familiar with the rules and regulations of the process, you could make a mistake that could cost you time, money, and security. To avoid this problem, partner with a Franklin estate planning expert that knows how to ensure everything is documented according to the law.
Not reading your documents.
Even if you use an attorney and your estate plan is executed correctly, it won’t do you any good if you don’t know all of the details. Don’t be shy about asking your estate planning attorney to clarify anything you don’t understand.
Not adding to the trust.
You can create a living trust, but it won’t take effect until you have funded it. This means you’ll need to go through the process of transferring titles and beneficiary designations to your trust. Until assets designated in the trust are funded, your property is at risk of going into probate, which is likely what you had hoped to avoid.
Failure to name the right successor.
Many people believe that their adult children are the best options when it’s time to name a trust successor. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. While our children will likely be the beneficiaries of the trust, there are many different reasons that it makes sense to utilize a professional trustee or outside party instead. An estate planning attorney might recommend using an alternate trustee if you are leaving a trust for a child with special needs or if your adult children have demanding careers and may not have time to handle all of the duties involved.
Letting the trust become outdated.
You plan your estate based on your current financial circumstances. But, these can change. Work with your Franklin estate planning attorney to ensure that your trust is up to date. An annual review can help you keep up with what you have, what needs to go into the trust, and what assets you might want to move around or redesignate.
Trent Linville is a Franklin estate planning attorney who specializes in helping families navigate the complexities of trusts, wills, and other legal documents.