Documents You Need for a Do-it-Yourself Living Trust
Establishing a living trust, also known as a revocable trust, does not require a court hearing. It also does not require you to hire a lawyer. In fact, paying an estate planning lawyer’s hourly fees just to set up a trust is a waste of money. To create a do-it-yourself living trust and enable it to serve its purpose, you need the following documents:
- Living Trust Document
- Pour-over will
- Certificate of trust
- Healthcare directive
- Financial power of attorney
Once you have set up the trust, you can transfer some or all of your assets to it. This process is called “funding” the trust. The assets you transfer to the trust will not have to go through probate after you die, because they belong to the trust, not to you as an individual. If you have ever wondered how rich people avoid probate, living trusts are the secret ingredient. The good news is that you can easily create a do-it-yourself living trust using a legal document assistant and avoid hiring a lawyer.
The People Involved in a Living Trust
The law uses specific terms to refer to the people who have a relationship to the trust:
- Grantor – the person who establishes the trust and whose assets the trust contains
- Trustee – the person who has the authority to disburse money from the trust or sell property that belongs to it. Usually, the grantor and the trustee are the same person.
- Successor trustee – The person designated in the living trust document to take over the trustee’s role if the original trustee dies or is no longer healthy enough to fulfill the role.
- Beneficiaries – the people who receive money from the trust, based on the trustee’s decisions. You may have heard the term “trust fund baby” to refer to a person who, from an early age, received financial support from a wealthy relative.
Lawyers do not have an essential role in setting up a living trust. If your financial situation is complex and you anticipate disputes over your estate, you should consult an estate planning lawyer. If all you need is a do-it-yourself trust, you should skip the lawyers and just hire a registered legal document assistant. A do-it-yourself living trust package using the services of a registered legal document assistant is a great solution for most people.
A People’s Choice Helps Practical People Set Up Living Trusts
You can hire someone with professional expertise to prepare your living trust document and other estate planning documents without paying for a lawyer. If you are considering a do-it-yourself living trust, A People’s Choice offers estate planning packages, including living trust documents, at affordable prices. Call us today at 800-747-2780.
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