Tulsa Trusts Lawyer
A trust is an optional estate-planning tool that can take the place of or supplement a will. Trusts can also help a property owner manage assets during life. Trusts pass on the benefits and obligations of assets to another party during or after the owner’s life. It is a property distribution option that may be appropriate for certain people during estate planning. To learn more about trusts, or to create a trust, enlist the help of our estate planning and probate attorneys in Tulsa, OK. We provide honest and reliable estate-planning services to the people of Tulsa.
Trusts vs. Living Trusts
A property owner can create a trust as part of an estate plan to pass ownership or management of a property to a certain person after death. Once the owner passes on, legal ownership will transfer to the named person or institution without the need to decipher a will or take the matter to court. In trust, the property owner becomes the “trustor,” “grantor,” or “benefactor.” The person gaining ownership of the property will be a “trustee,” “grantee,” or “beneficiary.” Trusts create a fiduciary relationship between both parties, meaning that the law obligates the trustee to act within the trustor’s best interests. Failure to do so could give the trustor, or surviving family members, the ability to sue the trustee for damages to the trustor’s interests.
A living trust is one that a person can create during life, rather than one a will creates upon death. Having a living trust can come with several benefits to the owner of the property in question. The main advantage of creating a living trust is to avoid the need for probate court for property division and ownership after death. Probate court can be a lengthy and expensive process for surviving family members, especially if there are valuable or complex assets for the courts to divide. Living trusts can bypass the need for probate to assign property ownership.
There are simple or complex living trusts available depending on the specific needs of the family. Complicated living trusts can help with federal estate taxes, but are really only necessary if estates are worth more than $5 million. Simple living trusts are the most popular choice for families that simply want to avoid probate. To create a living trust, you must write up a trust document (typically with help from an attorney) that names who will inherit your property. This individual will become the trustee. Sign the document in front of a notary, and then transfer your property titles to your name, but as “trustee of the trust.”
Do You Need an Oklahoma Probate Attorney?
If you believe creating a trust or living trust is in your best interest, Bryan & Terrill Law can make the process simple. A short interview will give us information about you and your property, and allow us to give you legal counsel about creating trusts, wills, and other estate planning tools. If we agree that a trust is a good idea for your situation, we can create the necessary documents according to Oklahoma law. We can also make changes to existing trusts or estate plans. Speak to our lawyers today at (918) 935-2777 or through our online contact form.