Living Trusts

What Is a Living Trust?

A “living trust” is simply a trust someone creates while alive, instead of one that is made at someone’s death under the terms of their will. The trust is set up by the grantor, who is the individual that places the assets in a trust. The assets in the trust are managed for the settlor’s benefit while he or she is alive.

A trustee must also be named; however, most people name themselves for complete control. Furthermore, the trustee needs to name a successor trustee, who takes over the trust after the trustee’s death. The successor is then in charge of protecting and managing trust assets and eventually dispersing them to the beneficiaries.

The following are the proper steps to make a living trust:

  • Create a trust document, stating who will inherit trust property and naming you as trustee
  • Sign the document in front of a notary public
  • Transfer your property to your name as trustee

Do Living Trust Assets Have to Go Through Probate?

The main benefit of making a living trust is saving your family from the delay and expense of probate court proceedings after your death. Texas does not adhere to the Uniform Probate Code, which simplifies the process of probate, so it may be wise for you to establish a living trust to avoid the state’s complicated probate process.

Texas only has a simplified probate process for small estates - under $50,000. If your net worth will be under this amount when you pass away, the probate process will be relatively quick and inexpensive, so you may not need to worry about avoiding it.

Call (972) 200-3078 to Let Our Dallas Estate Planning Lawyer Help You Today

At the Law Offices of Dan Chern, P.C., our legal team can discuss the advantages and disadvantages of living trusts, based on your specific situation. With nearly two decades of experience, our Dallas estate planning attorney has a thorough understanding of Texas law to guide you through the complexities of the legal system.

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