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How Do Trusts Function?

A trust is a helpful estate planning tool. It can help you control distributions to beneficiaries, protect your legacy, reduce the costs of probate and provide for the private transfer of assets. The big question is, "Do you need one?"

At Postic & Bates, we can help you create a tailored estate plan that fits your family. We consider all factors to help you determine if a trust is the best way to accomplish your goals. We work hard to make the process easy and affordable. A frequent remark we hear from client is "that was painless."

Is a trust right for you? Schedule a free initial consultation by calling our Oklahoma City office at 405-814-6524 or sending an email.

What Is A Trust? And Other FAQs.

A trust is a fiduciary arrangement between you, a trustee and beneficiaries. You transfer ownership of property and the trustee holds those assets on behalf of your designated beneficiaries. Of course, you can be your own trustee and beneficiary. That is part of the flexibility of estate planning.

Below are answers to other frequently asked questions about understanding trusts:

  • Does everyone need a trust? No. While everyone should have an estate plan, not all plans need to include a trust. A trust can be a very effective estate administration tool or an unnecessary expense depending on your situation and goals.
  • When does a trust become effective? Unlike a will, a trust becomes effective immediately upon execution when the documents have been signed and the property has been transferred.
  • Is the trustee under any legal obligation? Yes. The trustee has a legal obligation to follow the terms of the trust and is under a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of the beneficiaries. You can sue a trustee in court to recover damages for a violation or breach of his or her legal duties.
  • Can I change the terms of a trust? That depends. A trust can be revocable (often referred to as a living trust) or irrevocable, referring to whether you want to retain control over the assets or the ability to change the terms. Each option has different benefits and consequences. Our lawyers can explain and help avoid unintended results.
  • Are there different types of trusts? Yes. There are basic types of trusts that you can use for specific purposes. These include generation-skipping trusts to avoid estate taxes, charitable lead or remainder trusts for shared distributions, qualified terminable interest property (QTIP) trusts to protect an income stream for a spouse and special-needs trusts to provide for a disabled person without harming his or her eligibility for public assistance.
  • Am I limited to these common types of trusts? No. Within the confines of the law, you can be extremely creative in developing a trust that accomplishes your particular goals.
  • Can I avoid probate by putting property in a trust? Yes, depending on the type of trust. Most, but not all, trusts avoid probate.

When you sit down with one of our lawyers for the first time, you will have a conversation about your goals. After you share about your family, worries and wishes, we can explain your legal options along with the costs and benefits of each.

Talk To One Of Our Attorneys For Free

Call our office at 405-814-6524 or toll free at 800-575-6838. You can also send us your information, and we will contact you.

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