Helping You Establish Trusts To Protect Your Assets And Provide For Your Loved Ones

Just like a will, a trust can be a foundational part of an estate plan that helps protect your assets and ensures what you have, gets to the people you love, when you want, the way you want. Trusts are unique in that there are many different kinds you can utilize depending on your unique needs.

I am attorney Angela Davis-Morris, and together with my team at Davis-Morris Law Firm, I can help you determine if you need a trust to meets your goals and protect your estate. Having gone through the estate process with my own parents, I understand how overwhelming the process can be, especially without the compassionate guidance of an estate planning lawyer. After my own experiences, I decided to bring estate planning to my Hattiesburg clients to save other families from experiencing the same pain and frustrations.

What Is A Trust And Why Do I Need One?

A trust is a legal and financial arrangement that specifies how you want your assets to be distributed to your loved ones. They can serve a number of legal, personal, investment or tax planning purposes. You determine how the trust will be operated and who benefits, how and when.

At the most basic level, they involve at least three parties: the person who creates the trust, the person who manages it (the trustee), and the person(s) who benefit from it. Many times all three of these parties can be one person. For example, a person may create a trust (trust-maker) and name themselves the trust manager (trustee) who manages the trust assets for their own benefit (trust beneficiary).

Establishing a trust can help you avoid probate. There are many other advantages to establishing a trust, as well. In most cases, assets owned in a trust will pass to the trust beneficiaries (or heirs) immediately upon the death of the trust-maker with no probate required. Some trusts can result in tax advantages for you and your heirs. There are some trusts that help you protect your assets from the cost of long-term care, lawsuits and creditors. If properly drafted, another advantage is their continuing effectiveness in the event the trust-maker becomes incapacitated or dies.

There are different types of trusts that you can utilize in different situations depending on your goals, needs and circumstances. At Davis-Morris Law Firm, I will strive to learn about your individual needs and concerns, evaluate your situation, and help you determine if a trust is right for you.

What Is The Difference Between A Will And A Trust?

Wills and trusts are both essential elements of estate plans that you can use together or separately to help manage your estate. Both wills and trusts can manage your assets and determine who receives them, however, they do function differently.

Wills, on the one hand, cannot take effect until you die. They must be administered through a probate proceeding in court and a judge gets the final decision on who gets what, and when.

Comparatively, a trust can come into effect right after you sign it, while you are still alive. Trusts preserve your privacy while protecting your assets and your loved ones. Trusts allow more control over your assets and can provide for the distribution of your assets at your death. They come in a variety of forms and types, such as charitable trusts, special needs trusts, revocable trusts and irrevocable trusts. At Davis-Morris Law Firm, I will help explain the differences between them so you can make the best decision to meet your goals.

What Is A Revocable Living Trust?

A revocable living trust is just one type of trust. It is a legal arrangement, created to hold your assets and controlled by you during your lifetime. It is used in place of a Will to allow you to use your assets during your life and distribute them according to your rules upon your death. It can be used to protect you or your beneficiaries in the event of incapacity or disability, protect your assets from your spouse’s remarriage, as well as, not exposing your decisions, family dynamics and financial circumstance to public scrutiny via the probate process. A revocable trust provides a flexible, personal and efficient way to manage and distribute your assets during your lifetime and after your death, while also offering privacy, potential tax benefits, and avoiding probate.

Contact my firm today to determine if a revocable living trust is what you need to accomplish your estate planning goals.

What Is An Irrevocable Trust?

An irrevocable trust is a legal arrangement where you transfer ownership of your assets to a trust, generally for a specific purpose, such as reducing estate taxes, protecting assets from creditors, or providing for beneficiaries with special needs. Transferring assets into an irrevocable trust can also help you qualify for Medicaid benefits by reducing countable assets. And while you generally can’t change or revoke this type of trust, some irrevocable trusts are created to be more flexible than the name might indicate. With any irrevocable trust, however, you can still dictate how assets are distributed to beneficiaries and under what conditions.

Overall, irrevocable trusts offer a range of benefits that can be utilized under a variety of circumstances, all while avoiding the need for probate and maintaining your privacy. However, it’s important to carefully consider the implications and consult with legal and financial professionals to ensure that an irrevocable trust aligns with your specific goals and circumstances.

Speak To An Experienced Attorney About Establishing A Trust

Establishing a trust can be a confusing process. With so many different options, you may not know what your best pathway is. At Davis-Morris Law Firm, I will evaluate your assets, work to understand your goals and concerns, and then advise you on your best next steps. To schedule a consultation, call me at 601-602-8874 or complete our online contact form. From my office in Hattiesburg, I can assist clients throughout South-Central Mississippi.