Exploring Social Security Cases and Outcomes

4 Questions To Ask When Setting Up A Living Trust

by Marie Caldwell

If you don't already have a will or living trust in place, there is never a bad time to get this taken care of. Specifically, a living trust is designed to help determine how your assets will be divided after you pass away. Having a living trust can help to limit tax implications for your beneficiaries and also take the "guesswork" out of carrying out a will once you have passed. As you seek out a lawyer to assist you in creating your living trust, however, there are a few questions worth asking to help you make the right decision.

1. How Long Does the Process Usually Take?

Depending on the amount of experience your lawyer has with setting up and implementing trusts, the amount of time the entire legal process takes can vary greatly from just a couple of weeks to several months. To get a better idea of what you can expect for your living trust timeline, don't hesitate to ask during an initial consultation how long the process will typically take.

2. Can You Assist With Updates and Maintenance?

Some lawyers who offer living trust services more-or-less wipe their hands clean once they've written and implemented your trust, whereas others may follow up with you from time to time to update and maintain the document as needed. Ideally, you'll want to find a lawyer who will work with you as your life changes to update your trust accordingly.

3. How Do You Charge for Living Trusts?

Generally, a living trust lawyer will either charge a flat fee for handling your trust or a per-hour fee. Hourly fees are more common among lawyers who offer maintenance/update services, but this can vary. Find out what type of payment arrangement your lawyer will expect to ensure it works with your needs and budget.

4. What Are the Possible Tax Implications?

Your living trust lawyer will likely make some recommendations regarding how to allocate your assets. Make sure that he or she can explain the reasoning behind these recommendations, as well as the potential tax implications for your beneficiaries so that you have a solid understanding of how your trust will be carried out.

Finding the right lawyer to rely on for setting up your living trust can take some time and patience, but by taking the time to ask these vital questions throughout the consultation process, you can ultimately find the right legal professional for the job. For more information, contact your local wills law firm.