Living Trust Attorney in Tulsa, OK

Living Trusts

When a loved one passes, the grief can be overwhelming. That grief can be compounded by the stress of settling an estate and facing probate challenges. You can plan ahead and help spare your loved ones from additional frustrations.

Tulsa living trust lawyers can ensure that your loved ones avoid many of the headaches associated with settling an estate. A revocable living trust is an effective device to include when planning your estate. You can learn more about the benefits of a living trust by contacting Riddle Law for legal advice.

What a Living Trust Does

A living trust, also called a family trust or a revocable trust, is a contract allowing someone to transfer their assets into a trust while they are still alive. The trust is overseen by a trustee. The trustee has the responsibility of administering the assets within the trust contingent on the terms of the document.

The grantor, who created the trust, can act as a trustee while they are alive. They may appoint a successor to take over the management of the living trust if they die or become incapacitated. The grantor is allowed to modify the trust or revoke it altogether.

Living Trust Assets

Revocable living trusts are utilized to hold various assets. These assets could include the following:

  • Real Estate, including residential and commercial properties, can be held in a living trust. These might include houses, land, apartment buildings, condominiums, offices, or other commercial spaces.
  • Investments such as securities, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and cryptocurrency can be put into a revocable trust.
  • Checking and savings accounts can be held in a living trust.
  • Certificates of deposit (CDs) are also held in living trusts as well.
  • Property like furniture, jewelry, collectibles, boats, campers, vehicles, and artwork can also be included.
  • Stocks or business interests like membership in a limited liability company (LLC) can be put into a living trust for safekeeping.
  • Intellectual property can be placed in a living trust as well. Intellectual property could include patents, trademarks, copyrights, recipes, trade secrets, and the like.
  • Sometimes, money is owed to the grantor by other debtors. The debts can be placed in trust.
  • Digital assets such as social media accounts, email accounts, online investment accounts, photo collections, and online banking information might also benefit from being placed in a living trust.

Primary Benefits of a Living Trust

There are several benefits to using a living trust. Although you will want to speak to a trusts attorney about your specific circumstances, listed below are some of the primary benefits of putting assets into a revocable living trust:

Avoiding Probate

Probate avoidance is one of the main reasons to consider using a living trust. Keeping assets out of probate, the legal process of distributing assets to the intended heirs and beneficiaries following someone’s death is one of the main reasons people choose this route when planning their estates.

Reasons you might choose to avoid probate are listed below:

  • Probate is a lengthy process. Avoiding it allows the beneficiaries of the trust to receive their assets sooner.
  • When an estate goes through probate, it can be an expensive process. Legal fees, attorney fees, court fees, executor fees, and appraisal fees can add up to a lot of money that can often be avoided if the assets are in a living trust.
  • Probate is a public matter. If privacy is important, a living trust can prevent public knowledge of who the heirs are, what they were left, and the contents of the estate.
  • While the grantor controls the trust while they are able, if they become ill or cannot manage them anymore, or in the case of their death, they may appoint a successor to take responsibility for managing them from that time forward.
  • Because the grantor can change the living trust during their lifetime, it is a way to secure assets while having the flexibility to make changes if circumstances require it.
  • If the grantor has heirs with special needs or who are minors, a living trust allows their assets to be protected and governed by a dependable, trustworthy appointee. The trustee can manage the assets so that they can reap the most benefits from them.
  • In states with estate and inheritance taxes, a living trust can be beneficial to avoid costly tax implications.

An experienced living trusts lawyer from Riddle Law can help you determine if a living trust is beneficial for your estate. Some assets may be added, but not all are required to be. Having trusted advice when making these decisions can save you and your loved ones headaches and expenses in the future.

When formulating an estate plan, a living trust is a component that, while more complicated to set up and maintain than a typical will, can benefit many people. Revocable living trust lawyers understand the pros and cons and can offer you advice to protect the things you have worked hard for so that your loved ones can benefit from it later.

Revocable living trusts outline how assets will be distributed upon the grantor’s death.

The Parties Involved in a Revocable Living Trust

There are three parties in a living trust. Their roles are explained below:

  • The grantor or trustor is the person who creates the trust.
  • The trustee is the party or entity responsible for making decisions concerning the assets placed within the trust. The trustee might be a person or a financial institution. These would be co-trustees. If the trustee steps into the role after the grantor cannot or have passed on, they are a successor trustee.
  • Beneficiaries are the people who acquire assets from the revocable living trust. This could be one beneficiary, or there might be co-beneficiaries who may receive money before the grantor’s death. If the assets are only distributed after the grantor’s death, they are referred to as residuary beneficiaries.

Avoiding Revocable Living Trusts Mistakes

You can avoid costly mistakes by using Riddle Law’s experienced living trust attorneys. Our experience gives us the skills to construct a living trust that will benefit our clients properly. There are several common mistakes that our firm can help you to avoid.

Failure to Properly Fund the Living Trust

One of the most common mistakes we see is creating a living trust and failing to transfer property and assets into it. We will guide you through the process of transferring your assets into the trust’s name.

Failure to Properly Update the Revocable Living Trust

Circumstances change, and a living trust should reflect the grantor’s current desires for their assets. It is important to revisit a living trust with your living trusts attorney periodically to ensure your wishes are still clear.

For example, a new grandchild was born into the family. Without reviewing and updating the living trust, they may be left out upon the death of the grandparent. This could lead to hurt and confusion that might be impossible to rectify. Our living trusts attorneys can sit down to review your estate when major life events occur so that your living trust is always up to date.

Not Choosing the Right Trustee

When choosing a trustee, you must appoint the right person. The trustee is accountable for managing the property within the trust and properly distributing the assets to the beneficiaries. It is crucial to have someone you can trust who is capable of doing their job properly.

Choosing the wrong trustee can defeat the purpose of the revocable living trust. Consider carefully and consult with your attorney when determining who you should appoint.

Not Naming Contingent Beneficiaries

By failing to name contingent beneficiaries, along with primary beneficiaries, the grantor’s assets may not be distributed properly if the primary beneficiary passes away before them. By naming contingent beneficiaries, there is a predetermined guide to distributing property and assets.

Failure to Consider Tax Implications

Living trusts are taxed. So, it is critical to consider how the taxes will be handled so avoidable taxes will not pick apart the estate. Speak to a living trusts attorney in Tulsa, OK, about the living trust and how to ensure it is structured beneficially regarding taxes.

Failure to Coordinate

Some estate plans contain other documents. The entire estate plan needs to be looked at as a whole so that the entire estate is properly coordinated and meets the expectations of the grantor. This includes the following:

  • Wills
  • Living wills
  • Powers of Attorney

At Riddle Law, we review our clients’ estates with a fine-tooth comb. It is important to us to ensure that clients who trust us with their estate planning can ensure their assets are treated the way they intend for them to be.

Tips for Working on a Living Trust With an Attorney

A living trust will require a living trusts attorney to ensure it is organized properly. There are things you can do to make the process go more smoothly. Listed below are some suggestions:

  • Select the right attorney: Locating a qualified lawyer is the easiest part of this process. Finding one with empathy and a real dedication to your needs is crucial and harder to narrow down. Riddle Law has you covered in this department. We are upfront about our fees, so there are no hidden costs or unpleasant surprises in the process.
  • Be prepared: Prior to sitting down with your Tulsa living trusts attorney, assemble the documents that will be relevant to your living trust. Consider the goals you are hoping to accomplish and write them down. Specifically, note who you will choose as beneficiaries and trustees and your desired distribution of assets.
  • Communication is Critical: To help you achieve your goals, your living trusts lawyer needs to know what they are. Clearly communicate your concerns, your goals and your preferences, and refrain from holding anything back.
  • Ask questions: If you are not an attorney, understanding all of the legal jargon and concepts will not be clear. Do not be embarrassed to ask questions. Your attorney should provide you with clarification in a way you understand. A Riddle Law, we make it a point to make the entire legal process clear to our clients.
  • Honesty is key: When it comes to finances, many people are private about the subject. But this is a time that you need to be honest and upfront about your assets, your debts, and your sources of income. To create an effective living trust, your lawyer needs all the facts.
  • Review the trust: After your attorney has finished drafting your living trust, carefully review it. Consider whether it accurately mirrors the goals you have for your estate. If you have concerns, now is the time to voice them.
  • Update Your Living Trust: As life changes, your circumstances may dictate changes to your living trust. Births, deaths, divorces, marriages, gifts, inheritances, bonuses at work, windfalls, and debts can all alter the way you want your trust handled. Riddle Law is happy to update your living trust as necessary.
  • Work with a living trusts attorney: While there are online tools to use when estate planning, do not cave into that temptation. You want to ensure your assets will be safe and treated properly, and the best way to ensure this is to put them in the hands of an experienced lawyer with the skills to tailor your living trust to your specific circumstances.
  • Contact Riddle Law Today

    The time to begin estate planning is now. A living trust can protect your assets and make sure that your property is distributed properly. To ensure your wishes are carried out, working with a qualified living trusts attorney in Tulsa, OK, is crucial.

    Reach out today at Riddle Law. We are ready to offer you peace of mind so that you and your loved ones benefit from the assets you have worked hard to secure.