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Helping With Wills and Trusts
While the two are often discussed in the same sentence, wills and trusts can be very different. Generally, a will is a legal document designed to move property through the probate process as efficiently and privately as possible. In most cases, a will can only be put into effect when someone passes away. A trust, however, is a more versatile—and therefore slightly more complex—way of distributing property.
Generally, a trust is legal entity entered into by at least two parties, one of which is interested in dispersing his or her property. Because there are so many options when it comes to trusts—and because specific legal rules must of course always be followed—many of our Brainerd trust law clients have found that it is incredibly beneficial to have the help of Mallie Law Office when writing up and when enacting trusts. If you are looking for a trust attorney in Brainerd or Little Falls, MN, contact Mallie Law Office right away.
Types of Trusts
Trusts can be broken down into four basic kinds, each of which have their own strengths and weaknesses. The type of trust you choose to build will be determined by your desired final outcome.
- Inter Vivos Trust: This is one of the areas where trusts and wills differ. An inter vivo trust can be dispersed while the person who began the trust is still living. There are many reasons why you might decide to use this kind of trust, such as helping a loved one pay for college or schooling.
- Testamentary Trust: Much as with wills, these trusts are dispersed after the originator of the trust has passed. This is a way of ensuring property is distributed according to the wishes of the trustee. These types of trusts are, as with wills, quite common, but they must be legally sound in order to ensure best results.
- Irrevocable Trust: These types of trusts are ironclad. They cannot be altered. For clients who are absolutely certain in their course of action, these types of trusts make the most sense. Additionally, clients who are worried about legal tampering after their passing may wish to pursue an irrevocable trust.
- Revocable Trust: These trusts are just the opposite and are designed to be amended and altered. If, for example, something changes between the signing of the trust and the dispersal of property, the terms of the trust can be likewise altered. This is usually handled by the trustee.
Parties of a Trust
The parties involved in a trust are usually broken down into two distinct groups. First there is the beneficiary. As the name might imply, this is the party that benefits from the trust. This party may be composed of a single individual, a group of people, or it may be a non-profit or other large entity. On the other end is the party known as the trustee. This is the party that controls the trust and, if it is a revocable trust, is responsible for instigating or approving changes.
Unlike a will, which simply distributes property, a trust must be funded, though the timing of this trust depends on how you might want it to operate and what you want to accomplish. A trust that helps a grandchild with education, for example, may well need to be funded quite early in the process. This should illustrate that trusts can take many shapes and accomplish many different objectives. The sooner you begin your estate planning and draft your trusts, the more comprehensive and complete those trusts can be and the better you can deal with complications, such as divorce.
Legal Help is Necessary for Optimum Outcomes
While the notion of estate planning may at first seem quite oppressive and morbid, many of our Brainerd and Little Falls area trust law clients report a sense of freedom afterwards, as though a great weight had been lifted. Indeed, there is a certain sense of contentment in knowing that your legacy is legally secured. Because of that content feeling, and because trust law can be a highly complex field, it is highly recommended that you seek legal assistance, such as the assistance rendered by Mallie Law Office, in order to help ensure the best possible results.
It’s true that there are many “do-it-yourself” online services for trusts and wills. However, the only way to know if your trust can stand up to a challenge from an attorney is to have it drafted by one. The experienced attorneys at Mallie Law Office know how important and how sensitive establishing a quality trust can be, and we understand the peace of mind it grants our Brainerd and Little Falls area clients. We know we’re talking about your future and your family’s future, and we do everything we can to ensure that your future is in good hands.
If you’re looking for a trust attorney in Brainerd or Little Falls, MN, contact us today to get started.