Houston Trust Attorney

Experienced Houston Trust Attorney - Trusts and Estate Planning

When it comes to estate planning, one of the most important things to consider including in your arsenal is trusts. Trusts can be a great vehicle to protect your assets and ensure that your estate are met even after you pass away. But with so many different types of trusts, it can be difficult to know which one is the right fit for you. Speaking with an experienced estate planning lawyer about your estate planning goals can help you determine the kind of trust that is best for you.

At The Law Office of Whitney L. Thompson, we can walk you through the different types of trusts and how they can be used to benefit you and your family. Our lawyers will also work with you to create a comprehensive estate plan that considers your unique needs. Our experienced Texas estate planning attorneys have dedicated their practice to helping families prepare for the future. When you’re ready to get started on estate planning, contact us today to schedule a consultation. We look forward to helping you create a plan that gives you peace of mind. 

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What Is A Trust?

A trust is a legal arrangement in which one person, called the trustor, gives another party, a trustee, the right to hold their property for a third party, a beneficiary. A trust allows for the legal protection of the trustor’s assets which will help in the asset’s distribution according to the trustor’s wishes. Trusts can have different functions depending on the goals of the trustor in creating the trust.

The trustor creates the trust, transfers ownership of their assets into the trust, and declares a trustee to manage the trust. A trustee may be an individual, a corporation, or a financial institution and will manage the trust on the beneficiaries’ behalf. The rules and the kind of trust created will dictate the roles and responsibilities of each of the three parties. In some cases, it is possible for the trustor to also be the beneficiary of the trust.

The terms of the trust are set forth in a written document called the trust agreement or declaration of trust. The terms of the trust determine how the trustee will manage the property and how the beneficiaries can gain assets or income from the trust. The terms of the trust may also include provisions on how and when distributions will be made to beneficiaries, and what happens to the property when the last surviving beneficiary dies.  

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How Can A Trust Benefit Me and my Estate?

A trust can be an incredibly beneficial tool for estate planning, providing flexibility, asset protection, and tax advantages. Trusts can be used to manage assets during your lifetime and distribute them according to your wishes after your death.

Trusts can also offer greater control over how your assets are managed and distributed than other estate planning tools like wills. For example, you can use a trust to specify exactly when and how much money your beneficiaries will receive. You can create and use a trust to provide for a family member with special needs. You can also use a trust to protect your assets or business from creditors or lawsuits. You can also use a trust to maintain eligibility for government aid programs like Medicaid.

There are also significant tax advantages to putting your assets in a trust. For example, income earned by a trust is generally taxed at lower rates than personal income. Additionally, in some cases, assets held in a trust are not subject to estate taxes when you die. A trust may also allow you to completely skip the probate process and allow your beneficiaries quicker access to your assets without having to appear in probate court.

If you’re looking for ways to maximize the benefits of your estate through establishing a trust, getting the help of an experienced Houston trust attorney is important. At The Law Office of Whitney Thompson, we can help you explore your options and navigate through the process of creating a trust. Our team of skilled Houston estate planning attorneys can evaluate your financial situation and establish a trust that would suit your goals.

Contact us today at (281) 214-0173 to schedule a consultation.  

What Are The Different Types Of Trusts?

There are a lot of different kinds of trusts that serve different purposes. Trusts are usually divided into six categories: funded or unfunded, revocable or irrevocable, and living or testamentary.

  • Funded trusts:  A funded trust is a trust in which assets have been injected during a trustor’s lifetime.
  • Unfunded trusts: An unfunded trust is a trust consisting of only a trust agreement; depending on the terms of the agreement, the trust can become funded upon the trustor’s death.
  • Revocable trusts: A revocable trust can be modified or revoked by the trustor at any time, and is typically used to manage assets during the trustor’s lifetime.
  • Irrevocable trusts: An irrevocable trust cannot be modified or revoked by the trustor, and is often used for asset protection or estate tax planning purposes.
  • Living trusts: A living trust is created during the trustor’s lifetime, and can be revocable or irrevocable. Assets placed in a living trust are typically managed by a trustee during the trustor’s lifetime and passed to the beneficiaries upon the trustor’s death.
  • Testamentary trusts: A testamentary trust is created upon the trustor’s death and is typically used to manage assets for minor children or other beneficiaries who cannot manage their own affairs.

Finding the right kind of trust that would fit your personal financial profile can be tricky. Seeking the help of an experienced attorney is important when weighing the pros and cons of the type of trust you want to create. Our Houston, TX attorneys at The Law Office of Whitney Thompson have extensive experience in guiding families through the process of planning their estates. We are a Houston law firm that is dedicated to helping individuals explore their legal options and equipping them for the future. Contact us today to learn more about the different kinds of trusts and how they can be helpful for you and your family.

How Can An Experienced Houston, Texas Trust Attorney Help Me?

An experienced Houston estate planning attorney can help you determine what type of trust is right for your estate and can draft the documents necessary to create the trust. They can also help you understand the tax implications of creating a trust for your estate, how it may be helpful during the probate process, and advise you on how to best manage your assets within the trust.

If you already have a trust, an experienced Houston trust attorney can help you ensure that it is managed properly and that your assets are protected. An attorney can also help you make changes to the trust if necessary or applicable and provide guidance on how to distribute assets from the trust when the time comes.

Having an experienced Houston trust attorney by your side during the estate planning process can give you peace of mind that your wishes will be carried out and that your assets will be protected. 

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What Are The Requirements For Setting Up A Trust?

Having a clear understanding of what purpose the trust is supposed to serve and which of your assets you will be putting in the trust is essential. These will dictate which type of trust will be the best to serve your purpose. Remember that you can fund a trust with different kinds of assets like cars, real estate, and even stocks. Whether you would like to use your trust for tax benefits, to be eligible for Medicaid, to avoid the lengthy probate process, to help you plan a successful takeover of your business, or just to provide for your beneficiaries when you pass away, having a clear goal for your trust will always be helpful.

Most people commonly name their child or children or their spouses as beneficiaries of their trusts. However, you can also name a charity, other relatives, and even yourself as a beneficiary. It would also be helpful to name additional beneficiaries in the event that your primary beneficiaries pass away. This may be a morbid concept to consider but will ultimately serve to the benefit of your estate.

This is where you will need to decide the whens, hows, and whats of your trust. You can also set your trust up so that your beneficiaries will only get their trust benefits if they meet certain conditions, such as age, marital status, etc. You can be as detailed as you would like when determining the terms of your trust. However, it is always helpful to seek the advice of a skilled trust lawyer to make sure the terms of your trust are enforceable.

One of the most important stages of building a trust is selecting your trustee. You can choose a friend or a family member to serve as your trustee but you can also choose to appoint a third-party trustee like an attorney or a bank. A family friend or a loved one may benefit from having intimate knowledge of your decision making but a third-party or professional trustee can also be beneficial. A third-party trustee like a lawyer will not be tied to any family dynamics concerns you may have and will be obligated to maintain a professional demeanor. Finding this balance is key in the administration of your trust.

The requirements for setting up a trust vary from state to state, so it is important to consult with an experienced attorney before creating one. A Houston lawyer should be able to assist you in all aspects of creating your trust and should also be able to answer any questions you have about the process. A qualified trusts lawyer will also be able to assist you in setting up a power of attorney for your assets outside your trust, if necessary.

At The Law Office of Whitney Thompson, our experienced Houston trust attorneys can help you determine which kind of trust best suits your interest and guide you in drafting your trust agreement.

To schedule a consultation, contact us today at (281) 214-0173

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Schedule A Consultation With One Of Our Houston Trust Attorneys Today

Trusts can be complex legal documents, and it is important to have someone with experience in this area to help you navigate the process. Trusts can be a powerful tool in estate planning that can help you achieve your goals with your estate. Trusts can help you avoid excessive taxes, avoid probate, and ensure the well-being of your estate and your beneficiaries in the future.

Speak with an experienced Houston trust attorney today to start your estate planning journey. The attorneys in our Texas firm have years of experience helping families jumpstart their preparation for the future. Our skilled estate planning lawyers at The Law Office of Whitney Thompson are here to help. 

Contact us to schedule a consultation with one of our Houston trust attorneys today at (281) 214-0173

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