7 Critical Roles Of A Trust Attorney | Upholding Your Will, Your Wish & Beneficiaries

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There is a lot with regards to trust terminology, inheritance laws and asset distribution that you should understand before you ask your trust attorney to draft a will / final testament/document for you.

What Is A Trust?

In the simplest language, a trust is a legal entity/document. It is created by a person who is rightly called a trustmaker. This trustmaker owns the assets that are to be transferred to their next in kin or their legal heir(s) who are their beneficiaries under the law. The person in charge of the trust assets is known as the trustee and they are handed the responsibility of ensuring that these assets are used only for the purpose that has been intended for them in the trust/will of the trustmaker. The biggest reason to create trust in the first place is to allow the trustor to control their assets even after their death for the advantage of the beneficiaries.

Following Are The 3 Primary Parties To A Trust And Their Essential Roles That They Have To Fulfill

1. Trustmaker

The trust maker has probably the most important role in this scenario. They are also called the trustor, settlor, grantor and by many other names. The trust maker brings the trust into legal existence by the way of drafting a document with the help of a will and trust attorney intended to convey to the beneficiaries about what is to happen to their assets after they have passed away. A trust agreement is a written document that contains instructions regarding the asset/property inside of the trust.

Source: Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP

Revocable & Irrevocable Trust

There is also a revocable trust wherein the trust maker holds the power/ability to revoke, edit / amend or make any changes in the terms of the trust. However, an irrevocable trust is going to do away with that ability of the trust maker. Therefore, one needs to be very careful while creating an irrevocable trust.

2. Trustee

A trustee is handed over the complete control of the property and investments of the trust maker. The trustee is responsible for following all the instructions contained in the trust document as to the appropriation and distribution of the property of the trust maker. As a trustee, an individual is responsible for the investment of trust funds and is also entrusted with the task of ensuring that none of it is misused or misappropriated. Any trustee that is found responsible for misappropriating trust funds or using them for any personal gains and purposes shall be subject to civil and criminal penalties. They might even be removed from their position as a trustee of the agreement depending upon the severity of their activities.

Source: Everplans

3. Beneficiaries

These are the individuals that will eventually own the rights of use of the property mentioned in the trust document. They are the legal heir of the trust maker. This is the party that is going to enjoy the benefits and uses of the trust assets. The beneficiary to any trust agreement is entitled to receive the trust assets in more than one ways. The assets might be distributed to them outright or may be kept in a trust and paid out in the form of benefits or compensation/reimbursements as and when the beneficiary incurs any expenses. Depending upon the reasons for setting up a trust and keeping in mind the best interests of the beneficiary, the manner in which the trust assets should be expended and the timing of such expenditures will be decided upon by the trust maker.

Is The Role Of A Will And Trust Attorney Limited To The Creation Or Administration Of A Particular Trust?

No, the role of a trust or will attorney is not confined to these 2 activities alone. He also has the following duties and responsibilities:

Source: Bioplastics News

1. Matters Of Estate Planning And Taxation

A will and trust attorney also assists in the matters of estate planning, wills, trusts, and inheritances. One can also seek their help in matters of taxation and business laws.

2. Advice And Guidance Relating To Estate Planning

Several trust and estate attorneys also give valuable advice for estate planning, trust and estate administration, wealth management, drafting of wills and documents, charitable planning, gift tax matters and trust documents, and the like.

Source: Law Offices of Gerard Gjertsen

3. Protection And Distribution Of Properties

Trust lawyers are also responsible for drafting plans and procedures to protect and distribute the properties of the trust maker. This is to maximize the benefits accruing to the beneficiaries after the death of the settlor.

4. Protection Of Assets AgainstBioplastics Newssuits

There might be lawsuits and taxes that can be filed against the assets of the trust maker. The lawyer will be responsible for creating documents intended to protect those assets against any such subsequent procedures.

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5. Evaluating The Client And Their Capacity

The trust attorney is also responsible for evaluating the capacity issues associated with the recipients of the trust. They will ask the client certain questions that will be relevant as to the terms and conditions of the trust assigned to them to ascertain their suitability.

6. Maintaining The Intended Manner Of Distribution

There is typically a predetermined/preselected manner of distribution that the trust maker always expresses a desire for while drafting a will. The last will and testament of the trust maker should always be carried out according to those wishes expressed in the document. The lawyer will be responsible for the division of the properties among the beneficiaries in the explicitly expressed manner and in no other form.

Source: justiceeducation

7. Execution Of The Trust

It is entirely upon the vision and wisdom of the will and trust lawyer as to what type of trust they recommend to their clients. The trust document is going to specify the rules which shall be followed by the trustee throughout.

Final Thoughts

Choosing proper trust is very critical for the safety and effective distribution of your assets after your passing. Remember, if your living and trust lawyer is expected to deal with a rather large estate, the entire procession and distribution might get a little more complicated. Therefore, weigh your options and have a closer look at the many variations of trusts that you can choose from. For any more assistance and legal guidance, do not forget to connect with someone like Grennier Law today.