There are many potential ways to transfer property from one party to another, including giving property to your children or heirs. Simply gifting property is one way, but upon making that gift you lose all control over what the receiver does with the property. Another method is to transfer property would be through a Last Will and Testament. While a Will can help beneficiaries receive property they are entitled to, it only goes into effect when the family files to probate your estate. Additionally, after receiving property from a Will, I most cases again, you have no control over what happens to the money once it is given away. The best way to transfer property is through a trust. By using a trust, you can leave instructions and protections behind to make sure the property is used the right way as well as avoiding the need for probate.
An O’Fallon trust lawyer may be able to help you form a trust that meets your needs. Your options could include revocable living trust, a special needs trust, a charitable trust, a dynasty trust, or any type of trust that meets your goals. Understanding how to implement a trust can be difficult, so it is best to reach out to a skilled estate planning attorney to get started.
What is a Trust?
A trust is one of the most impactful estate planning documents. It serves as a way to transfer designated property between two parties without interference from a court. When you create a trust, you can leave behind instructions on how property should be used, when it should be given to your heirs, and how it should be protected. You can also decide who will be in charge of making the decisions during the time the property is in trust. This party is called a trustee.
To legally form a trust, parties must have the intent to do so and be at least 18. Missouri Statute § 456.4-402 says that a party creates a trust by transferring property ownership to a trustee during their lifetime and naming at least one beneficiary to receive the assets. That trustee then has a legal duty to distribute that property according to the terms of the document. This transfer can occur upon the trust maker’s death or in the future. In addition, the transfer can happen all at once or in installments. An O’Fallon attorney can help people understand how trusts function and the steps that go into creating these documents.
The Benefits of Creating a Trust
A trust is far from the only way to transfer property between two parties. In fact, the traditional method of doing so after death is a Last Will and Testament. However, wills have limitations and can only carry a legal effect after a person’s death. In addition, wills must go through the probate process, which can create unnecessary delays or expenses. In contrast, transferring property through a trust does not require probate. The transfer of assets can happen at any time, not just after a trust-maker’s death.
Moving property into a trust can also benefit the property’s original owner. This can lower one’s tax burden and even leave a person eligible for government benefits like Medicaid. Finally, a trust can hold onto assets for people who may not be able to properly manage them, such as children or individuals with limitations. A knowledgeable lawyer in O’Fallon can provide more information about trusts and their many advantages.
Let an O’Fallon Trusts Attorney Take the Lead
Property owners have the right to transfer their assets to whomever they wish, but choosing the ideal way to transfer property is essential. Making the wrong choice could lead to unnecessary legal complications and an increased tax burden. Thankfully, creating a trust can help avoid many of these complications.
An O’Fallon trusts lawyer can help you draft these documents effectively. Our legal team can explain how trusts work, evaluate your specific needs, and draft documents that meet the relevant legal requirements. Reach out today to learn more.