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Trust Attorney

The Purpose Of A Trust

Trusts are designed to reduce taxes and help your family skip probate upon your death. With just a will, your family will likely need to put your estate through probate court. The court hearing is a public record and can take months or years to finish. Trusts are under no court obligation.

Trusts are like a will because they determine how your assets and property will be given to beneficiaries. However, trusts take effect as soon as they are funded and signed, whereas wills are only effective once the maker passes away. 

Cincinnati Trust Attorney

Of the most popular elements of estate planning is setting up trusts. Having a trust in place can help you maintain control over your assets and property while determining how to distribute your property after your passing. A trust offers privacy and cost savings for you and your family.

Simply put, a trust is a document that gives instructions to someone else for how to manage property that you own. You have likely made a trust in your life–at least a simple one, that is. If you lend your car to a friend to drive to pick up a pizza, you have given them the keys (physical control), told them that they can only drive it to the shop (trust terms), and kept ownership of the car (legal title).

A trust can transfer ownership of your property during your lifetime or after you die, subject to the rules that you establish. They can also provide significant tax savings and privacy.

However, trusts can be notoriously complex when they are used in estate planning. Having an experienced trust attorney in Cincinnati helping you develop your estate plans can go a long way in ensuring your wishes are fulfilled as you intend after your death.

When you set up a consultation with Linn Legal, you and your lawyer will review the different trusts and help you determine which one works for your family’s goals. You can learn more about whether setting up a trust is in your best interests, which types of trusts to set up, and who to assign as your trustee.

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When You Should Have A Trust

Trusts are not a requirement as part of every estate plan. We recommend trusts for people who own more than one property or people with children who live in multiple states. They can be infinitely customized to meet your needs. You may want to require that a beneficiary use their inheritance to go to college or you may want to create a donation to a worthy cause. Many families use trusts to protect their child’s inheritance from divorce. Sometimes, a parent wants to leave money to one child under different rules than the other.

There are times when a trust almost always makes sense. If you have children with special needs, or have come into significant wealth, having a trust is a good way for you to reduce your taxes, avoid probate, and protect your assets for your children, grandchildren, and even your great-grandchildren.

How To Choose A Trustee

Of all the decisions that our estate planning clients make, the hardest one is typically who the trustee will be.

A requirement for a trustee is someone who will carry out  your goals. Past that, we suggest that clients choose someone who lives in the same state, is decent at math, and can handle the responsibilities that come with being a trustee.

Your bank may or may not offer trustee services, as well. Your lawyer can help you analyze whether this makes sense. A bank trust department is set up to run trusts. They understand the paperwork and responsibilities. However, they charge yearly fees–sometimes hefty ones. And bank trust departments are notoriously conservative when it comes to whether to pay out assets, if they have the choice whether or not to. After all, they get a percentage fee of the assets in the trust every year. The more money they pay out, the lower their fees.

A modern trend in trust drafting is someone called a “Trust Protector.” This is another individual who has some limited abilities to change the trust and trustee. They are nominated by the trust maker to have another set of eyes reviewing the trust, making sure that it is fulfilling its purpose.

For many families who have no worry about trust control issues and just want their children to get their assets with no hassle, it makes sense to name children as trustees.

Setting Up Your Trust

If you are interested in setting up a trust, you will first need to meet with your trust attorney in Ohio to discuss your specific goals. This way, you can choose the right type of trust. Here is what you can expect next:

  1. You will have an initial discussion with your lawyer at Linn Legal to decide if a trust is right for you.
  2. Our operations specialists will gather information from you on beneficiaries, as well as get a copy of your deed for you.
  3. Our office will draft the initial documents and send them over to you to review, along with an easy-to-follow explanation.
  4. We revise the documents after talking with you and when you are satisfied, we schedule a signing meeting (at your home or our office) where you will sign all of your trust documents and fund the trust.

Finding a Trust Attorney in Cincinnati

Many attorneys can do estate planning work, but you should make sure that the lawyer you work with focuses on estate planning, trusts, and transactional work needed to make the trust work well. Your attorney should be able to clearly explain whether they believe you need a trust or not, using your own family’s situation as their guide–not simply because they think you can pay their fee. 

Contact Linn Legal For Trust Help Today

If you are ready for your free consultation with Douglas Linn at Linn Legal, you can schedule your review today. You can call our office or use our contact form and we will set up an in person meeting, phone call, or video call–whichever works best for you.

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Types Of Trusts

Living Trusts

There are multiple types of trusts that could be a good fit for your estate plans and your family’s needs. One of the options is a Living Trust.

A living trust is the typical trust used to pass inheritances on to children. They can be revocable, which means that you can change them during your lifetime, or they can be irrevocable, which means that the rules are set in stone as soon as you sign the documents. 

Why would you ever want to make an irrevocable trust? They can come with tax advantages and asset protection. A revocable trust has no tax or asset protections in Ohio. Many revocable trusts turn into irrevocable trusts at the death of the trust maker. This can be the best of both options: flexibility while alive, and ironclad trust protections against divorce and debt after death for the beneficiaries.

When you make your living trust, you should consider:

  • What assets you will put into it, either now or at your death
  • The rules and protections that you want to establish for your beneficiaries
  • Deciding who to name as a trustee to carry out your rules

Your lawyer at Linn Legal will help you make a trust that reflects your values and goals.

Trusts For Blended Families

At Linn Legal, we frequently help families that have come together to create an estate plan that is fair to everyone involved. A second marriage can cause a lot of resentment among children. “What if they waste my parent’s money? What if my parent leaves it all to their new spouse instead of us children?” A failure to make a good estate plan in this situation is a guarantee that family will no longer talk to one another. 

We have sophisticated planning tools that allow you to take care of both your children and your spouse. For example, you can set up a fund that pays the income it earns every year to your surviving spouse, while paying the balance of the fund to your children at that spouse’s death. This is sometimes called a Qualified Terminal Interest Property (QTIP) trust. You may also decide to split up funds so that your spouse gets the house and your children receive retirement funds. 

Contact Us For Legal Help

We invite you to call Linn Legal for real estate, business transactions, and estate planning needs. Please bear in mind that the firm does not represent clients in lawsuits, because our goal is to keep you out of the courtroom in the first place.

513-426-9443 5935 Ridge Rd. #400
Cincinnati, OH 45213

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