What is a Trust?
A trust is a legal arrangement in which on party transfers assets to another party, who holds those assets “in trust” for the benefit of others. The party who creates the trust is called the “grantor” or “settlor,” the party that holds the assets is known as the “trustee,” and the party from whom the assets are held is referred to as the “beneficiary” (or “beneficiaries,” if there are more than one).
What Are the Benefits of a Trust?
One of the main benefits of placing assets into a trust is that assets that are held in trust do not have to go through probate in order to pass to beneficiaries. Probate can be extremely expensive and tie assets up for months or even years. In addition, placing assets into a trust can also protect assets from hostile creditors and may have certain benefits in regard to taxes and eligibility for government programs.
Do I Need an Attorney to Create a Trust?
There is no legal requirement that individuals who would like to create a trust do so with the assistance of an attorney. That being said, it is highly advisable to do so. Trust formation can be complicated and confusing, and online do-it-yourself estate planning services do not allow you to tailor your trust to your specific needs.
If I Have a Trust, Do I Still Need a Will?
Many people wonder whether they still need to draft a will after creating a trust. Generally speaking, it is always a good idea to have a basic will in place even if you have placed all of your assets in trust as a backup plan. In some cases, you may forget to put certain assets into your trust, and in the absence of a will, state law will control what happened to those assets. In addition, there are certain issues that your trust will not address, such as the appointment of a guardian for minor children.
Call a St. Louis Estate Planning Lawyer Today to Schedule a Free Consultation
If you are considering forming a trust or need estate planning advice, you should contact the Law Offices of Kenneth P. Carp today. To schedule a free consultation with Mr. Carp, all 636-947-3600 or contact us online.