Like a will, a living trust is a legal framework in which your assets and property can be stored. In Missouri, trusts are typically established by a binding legal document executed by a Springfield trust lawyer and naming a trustee who is in charge of managing the trust and distributing its contents to the trust’s beneficiaries at the time of the trustor’s death. You can either create an irrevocable trust – which would mean the trust is permanent and does not allow the trustee to distribute any property placed within it unless every single person named in the trust has given consent – or a revocable trust, which is flexible and can be modified after its establishment.
Why Get a Living Trust in Missouri?
Most people opt to create living trusts instead of wills because it minimizes tax obligations and keeps the contents of your final wishes out of probate court and the public realm. It also makes matters far easier to handle for your family after your death, a moment that is sure to be emotional for all. At the time of your passing, any property within the trust will be kept out of probate court, which keeps the process moving smoothly and minimizes costs for your family (because Missouri does not use the Uniform Probate Code, probate court has a way of dragging itself out, and carries court fees).
Living trusts are also especially helpful when you’re leaving your estate and assets to a minor child. Unlike a will, which would appoint a conservator to administer the contents of the will to your minor child, a living trust allows you to assign a trustee to the contents of your trust. That person can administer the trust until the child reaches a certain age.
Creating a Living Trust in Missouri in Five Steps with a Springfield Trust Lawyer
First, figure out the type of trust you need. If you’re married, you will likely want to enter into a joint trust with your spouse. Otherwise, if you’re single, you can only opt for a single trust. Next, take stock of your property: Do an accounting of absolutely all of your assets, business interests, and debts, and consider what is essential as a part of your estate plan. If you have specific keepsakes or heirlooms that you wish to be handled a certain way, start considering what those plans might be. Then gather all relevant paperwork demonstrating ownership and value of your assets and debts so that your documentation clearly supports the overall contents of your trust.
After that, you’ll want to name a trustee. You can name yourself, but most people opt to name someone else, such as their children or a trusted relative or advisor. If you do choose yourself, you’ll also want to name a successor in the event of your death, who can take over management of the estate after your passing. Finally, work with your Springfield trust lawyer to create the trust document, execute it, and move your property into the trust. Hiring one of the experienced trust attorneys at Parks & Jones will ensure your trust is properly created and managed, saving you time and money. Contact our offices today.