Denison Trusts Lawyer
Local, Experienced Estate Planning Attorneys
If you're visiting this page, you probably know that a trust is a financial instrument wherein a person gives someone else power over the distribution of their assets after death. But one of a trust’s key benefits is that it allows one’s heirs to avoid going through Probate Court. A trust offers several other benefits as well, thanks to the differing structures that can be chosen based on the needs of each individual client. Our estate planning attorneys are here to help you wade through the process, whenever you're ready.
Our Denison trusts lawyer has over 20 years of experience serving clients throughout North Texas. Call the Law Office of Brett L. Evans at (903) 201-1934 or contact us online to set up a consultation where you can learn about the types of trusts that will make the most sense for your specific situation.
Types of Trusts in Texas
The person who sits down with an estate planning attorney to set up their trust is the grantor. They are effectively granting power to someone else after the grantor’s death. The person who receives that power is the trustee. It follows that the grantor will want to choose as trustee someone they have great personal confidence in, both in terms of integrity and financial competence.
Trusts can go under quite a few different titles depending on the specific function they will carry out, but a Denison trusts attorney can fit them broadly under these categories:
A testamentary trust is one that becomes funded upon the death of the grantor. It presumes the existence of a will, which then bequeaths assets to a trust. By moving the assets immediately to the trust, the probate process is bypassed.
By contrast, a living trust is funded while the grantor is still alive. The advantage of this structure is that there are tax benefits to moving assets into the trust. The disadvantage is that it presumes the grantor is in a position to simultaneously fund the trust while still meeting their own living expenses.
In both cases, a testamentary trust and a living trust, the grantor identifies their beneficiaries and what each one is to receive.
The terms of a revocable trust allow the grantor to make changes to the beneficiaries after the initial establishment of the trust. In other words, a beneficiary can be “revoked” (or to be more positive, a beneficiary can also be added).
Under an irrevocable trust, the terms of inheritance are effectively locked in. The reason a grantor might decide to accept this inherent inflexibility is that there are tax advantages to be obtained by using an irrevocable trust structure.
To this point in the process, the grantor has decided the timetable on which the trust will be funded (living, testamentary, or some combination of both), and the status of the beneficiaries (revocable or irrevocable). Now it’s time to decide how the trust will be paid out after the grantor’s death.
Payable on Death (POD) Trust
A POD trust is simple. After the grantor’s death, the trustee takes on the task of getting all the beneficiaries their inheritance. At this point, the trust ceases to exist. A POD trust has allowed the heirs to avoid probate, something that would have been necessary if only a will had existed. The trust has now fulfilled its purpose.
Other trusts can pay out over time. They can be further broken down into two general types…
As the name suggests, this form of trust is simple. The beneficiary gets a payout at specifically designated times. A person might be designated to get their $100,000 inheritance in monthly payouts of $1,000.
The complex trust can see payments triggered on certain life events. Marriage, along with graduation from high school or college are very common payment-triggering events. A grantor can use the complex trust structure to grant some flexibility to the trustee. Payments might be made discretionary at the judgment of the trustee. This may be used when a grantor has concerns about beneficiaries getting too much money all at once.
Even this general outline of trusts in the state of Texas underscores how many decisions have to be made. Every person has unique needs and wishes for how their legacy is to be distributed. The Law Office of Brett L. Evans and our estate planning attorneys are well acquainted with the value and power of a legacy. An heir to three generations of lawyers, Attorney Evans was born and raised here in Denison and has over 20 years of experience in law under his belt serving clients throughout North Texas.
Attorney Evans is someone who understands his clients’ desires to have their last wishes respected and he has the professional experience and expertise to put those wishes into practice.