When it comes to estate planning, most people have heard of a last will and testament.
While this is certainly a popular option for handling one’s estate, it is by no means the only option.
In fact, a comprehensive estate plan will likely include both a will and a trust.
In this article, our Texas estate planning lawyers will go over the ins and outs of living trusts in Texas.
What Is a Texas Living Trust?
Broadly speaking, a trust is a legal entity organized to control your assets. A revocable living trust in Texas is a specific kind of trust that allows you to retain control of the assets you place into the trust while you’re still alive.
Living trusts are a flexible option for managing your estate because you control which assets to put into it.
For example, you could decide to transfer the title of your home and car to your trust. From that point on, the trust would own your house and car.
Who Manages a Trust?
When you set up a living trust as the grantor, you designate both trustees and beneficiaries.
You can designate the same person as both a beneficiary and a trustee, and you can even name yourself as a trustee and beneficiary. Ultimately, the trustees are responsible for administering the trust for the benefit of the beneficiaries.
They do this by following the instructions you set out in the trust formation documents. A Texas family trust is a popular option where only family members are listed as beneficiaries.
What Is the Cost of a Revocable Living Trust in Texas?
The cost of establishing a living trust will depend on a number of factors, including:
- The complexity of your estate and the number of assets you want to transfer into the trust;
- Whether the trust includes a spouse or significant other; and
- Whether you hire an attorney.
It is possible to set up your own Texas living trust using an online service. However, doing so does come with some risks since you can’t take advantage of the experience of an estate planning attorney if you have questions.
What Is a Revocable vs. Irrevocable Living Trust?
A living trust in Texas can be either revocable or irrevocable. A revocable living trust gives the grantor the ability to modify the trust at any time. By contrast, an irrevocable living trust can only be modified with the consent of the beneficiaries.
Living Trust vs. Will in Texas?
While both wills and trusts provide for the disposition of your property, there is one major difference.
Where a will is only effective after you die, a living trust becomes effective as soon as you transfer property into it. You can also make changes to your living trust while you are alive.
What Are the Benefits of a Living Trust?
Privacy is a major benefit of a living trust. The process of administering a will, called probate, is available in the public record. A trust, on the other hand, remains private.
Revocable living trusts in Texas are also much more flexible and do not require all of the same formalities associated with changing and executing a will.
Contact an Estate Planning Lawyer Today
Setting up a will and trust is just one part of a complete estate plan. Massingill Attorneys and Counselors at Law offers flat-fee pricing on our will or trust-based estate plans.
We will work with you to develop the best estate plan for your needs.