Trust Lawyer Des Moines IA
The right trust lawyer in Des Moines, Iowa, can help you ensure your loved ones are properly cared for after your death. Reach out to Law Group of Iowa for more information on how you can establish a trust for your family and close friends, and read on to learn the difference between a will and a trust.
Wills vs. Trusts: What’s the Difference?
You might have heard of wills before, and if you’ve planned for the future, chances are you’ve already looked into how a will can provide for your family after you pass away. However, while planning, you may have encountered another term – one that might not get as much attention in the public eye: Trusts. What are trusts, and what sets them apart from a will?
At their core, wills and trusts perform largely similar functions. It’s even possible for an individual to have both a will and a trust. While both wills and trusts are meant to ensure your estate is properly divided when you die, there are a few important differences to keep in mind. What you learn may help you decide how best to plan your estate.
A will is a list of assets and beneficiaries. The contents of a will can be divided up between your family, friends, and pretty much anyone else named in the will. However, wills can be a little complicated when it comes to execution. A will is available on public records – it’s nowhere near as private as a trust – and a will also means probate court.
Probate is the legal proceeding in which your assets and debts are distributed across your beneficiaries: While you might hope it goes smoothly, it’s oftentimes a very contentious process. There may be some bad blood between your beneficiaries, or there may be some bitter arguing over who gets what. If you have some family members who might be a bit estranged, or particularly greedy ex-wives or ex-husbands, probate can become a major headache for everyone involved. Plus, it means estate taxes – your beneficiaries might not receive quite as much money as they (or you) hoped.
The main thing to keep in mind when considering a will is the ease of drafting a will versus the ease of execution. While it may not matter to you, a will leaves some room for argument between your family members after you die. But, a will is generally easier than a trust to draft and maintain: Once a will is written up, it’s written up.
Trusts are a little more complicated to maintain than their will counterparts. They’re also a bit more expensive to fill out. A trust requires active management after it’s created, because (unlike a will) it becomes active the moment it’s completed. (A will is only active after you die).
However, trusts have plenty of upsides, too. Unlike a will, a trust names a third party to handle your estate once you die. This means no probate court, and it’s a good way to avoid potential conflict between family, friends, and any other beneficiaries. A trust assigns assets to beneficiaries, and those terms are set in stone: a trust is uncontestable. A trust can also get around estate taxes, which means more of your money goes to the intended recipients upon your death.
Unlike a will, which is easy to draft but difficult to execute, a trust is the opposite. A trust requires active management, but after you die, there’s little room for argument and bitterness. A trust is easy to execute, but hard to make and maintain – unless you have a trust lawyer in Des Moines, IA.
2 Reasons You Need a Trust Lawyer
A trust lawyer can assist you with issues concerning your estate or family. A trust lawyer in Des Moines, IA, from Law Group of Iowa can cut down on problems and help you set up your trust. You might have questions about why you need a trust attorney. Here are two reasons you need a trust lawyer to help with your legal needs.
You Want To Set Up Inheritance
When you pass away, you can dictate at what point your beneficiaries get their inheritance. If you do not specify, legal issues can ensue. If you want your beneficiaries to receive their inheritance at a particular time, you must say so. A trust lawyer in Des Moines, IA, can ensure the estate follows your wishes. It is valuable when you have a child with special needs as well. You can ensure they have special care. This point is essential when you have a child or family member with special needs and are unsure if someone else can care for them. Consulting with a lawyer can put your mind at ease.
You Need Advice
If you do not know how to set up a trust, lawyers from the Law Group of Iowa can advise you. You must understand legal terms so you and your family can get benefits. A lawyer can assist with this and ensure no issues arise when writing wills or other documents. If your directions are complicated, a lawyer can ensure that those carrying out your last wishes understand what you want. A trust is usually more flexible than a will, so keep this in mind when consulting with a lawyer.
Large estates that are particularly complex can be confusing for you. A trust lawyer in Des Moines, IA, can help. Sound legal advice is essential when thinking about your family and estate. If you do not have a trust or clear directions about what to do with your money, your family could end up in probate court.
You can also receive advice about how to fund the trust. If you are unsure about where the money will come from or how your beneficiaries will get it, an attorney can help. While hiring an attorney does come with a fee, ensuring your documents are clear and legal is necessary.
If you want to set up a trust, a trust lawyer in Des Moines, IA, from the Law Group of Iowa can help. Sound legal advice can make the legal process smooth or long and drawn-out.
Setting Up a Trust
Start By Getting Help
If you’ve never used a trust before, you should start by getting legal counsel. You can contact a trust lawyer in Des Moines, IA or use an online service to help you get started. If you feel comfortable enough with the ins and outs of building a trust, you are legally allowed to open one on your own. If at any point you decide you need assistance, the Law Group of Iowa is here to help.
Create Your Official Trust Document
You need an official trust document to outline the many different facets of your trust. This document should clearly define your grantor, your assets, any beneficiaries who might receive these assets, the trustee in charge of your trust and any successors that might take over if your trustee becomes unavailable. You may also want to create a certificate of trust, which proves the existence of your trust and the validity of those involved with it.
Sign Your Trust
Your trust is not considered legally binding until it bares your signature as well as those of two uninvolved witnesses. Not every state requires a trust to be notarized, but it’s always a good idea to do so. Having the document notarized can prove the validity of your trust and prevent instances of fraud. You can speak with your trust lawyer in Des Moines, IA to learn more.
Set Up a Trust Fund Account
The next most important step is to set up a trust fund bank account. This is the account that provides money to any of your beneficiaries; it’s best to start with a brand-new bank account, but you may be able to register an existing bank account to this trust depending on the institution you’re going through.
Move Your Assets
Once your trust has been established and notarized, you’ll want to make sure your assets are included in it. This applies to asset titles for vehicles, property deeds and certificates of ownership to heirlooms or other valuable possessions. If you experience any major life changes or obtain new assets, you should update your trust accordingly.
After you’ve included all your assets and your trust, you’ll want to name some beneficiaries to receive them if anything happens to you. these assets are considered payable on death, so your beneficiaries will have access to your trust without the need for probate. If you’re not sure what probate is, the Law Group of Iowa or your local trust lawyer in Des Moines, IA can tell you more.
Reach out to Law Group of Iowa Today
Planning your estate can be a challenging and complicated experience, especially if you’re taking the steps to make things easier for your beneficiaries by putting together a trust. While it’s possible to write your own trust, it can be hard to do without legal guidance. Fortunately, at Law Group of Iowa, we understand the importance of proper estate planning, and we’re happy to help you decide how best to plan for your future.
Get in touch with a trust lawyer in Des Moines, IA, and contact Law Group Of Iowa today.
Good Reasons to Create a Pet Trust
If you have a dog or cat, you likely consider it a valuable member of your family. You deeply care about your pet’s well-being and always take it to the veterinarian for checkups and feed it nutritious food. Take it one step further and establish a trust for your furry family member.
Here are a few good reasons to set up a pet trust.
You Can Leave Money for Your Pet
From food to medical care, taking care of a pet can get quite expensive. If you should die suddenly, you want your pet to have the same lifestyle that it had before. This is one of the main reasons why it’s beneficial to set up a pet trust. The document allows you to leave money for your pet and select a trustee to administer those funds according to your wishes. For example, you may want the funds to be used for your pet’s food, veterinary bills and grooming.
You Can Appoint a Caretaker
If you should die unexpectedly, you don’t want your pet to go to just anyone. You want the caretaker to be trustworthy, responsible and actually have the time to give your pet the attention it deserves. In a pet trust, you can name the person you want to take care of your furry family member.
Before you appointment someone as the caretaker, have a conversation with the person. Ask the person if he or she is up for the task. Taking care of a pet is a huge responsibility and not everyone may have the time or desire to do it.
A Pet Trust Establishes a Legal Obligation
A pet trust is a legal document, so the parties named in the trust must follow its terms. If the caretaker or trustee doesn’t abide by the terms in the trust, he or she can face legal consequences. For example, if the caretaker uses the funds in the trust for anything other than the animal’s care, the court will intervene.
You Will Have a Peace of Mind
If you establish a pet trust soon, you will have peace of mind knowing that your pet will be in good hands after you’re gone. In addition to leaving money, you can provide instructions on how to care for your pet. For example, your pet may have to follow a certain diet or take medication every day.
Like wills which lists the assets in your estate and designates how it is to be distributed when you pass, a trust is also a way to determine how your assets will be dispersed when you die. A trust, however, assigns someone to manage your estate and offers these advantages:
- Usually eliminates the need and cost of probate
- Help avoid conflict between family members and others
It’s the trust that assigns where your assets will go, rather than leaving those decisions to an individual as a will often does. It’s interesting to note that the trust actually begins operating when it is put in place rather than waiting until you die like a will does. A trust can often eliminate or at least reduce estate taxes. While a trust will cost you a bit more to have an attorney draw, it’s likely it will save both you and your heirs in the long run.
Although a will is easy to create, your heirs may have real trouble actually using or enforcing it. A trust, on the other hand, is more difficult to create but smoothes out the details of exactly how your estate is actually distributed.
Why you want to work with a trust attorney
Control over how your estate will be distributed is the major reason people will choose a trust over a will. If your estate is large, exists in multiple states or even countries, or your heirs have special needs, or you want to donate to multiple charities, or set up a trust for a beloved pet, a trust lawyer has the experience to guide you through the process. They can help you decide exactly what you want to happen and can show you how to do it in the most efficient way possible.
The right trust attorney can make both establishing a trust and having a trust administered in the right way that will help avoid problems in the future.
Start with a free consultation
The Law Group of Iowa is pleased to offer you a no-cost, no obligation consultation. Here you can ask the questions you have about setting up a trust, begin to discuss the many options you have and generally get a sense of how we operate.
If you decide to work with us we’ll guide you every step of the way, making sure you understand exactly what your trust will do, and making sure you don’t miss anything, even the tiniest wish you might have.
We can even find and engage translators should you need one.
The top of every page has our phone numbers. Feel free to call us. You’ll also find our contact page has an email form you’re welcome to fill out and use if necessary. It also has our physical address. And if necessary we can even come to you. Don’t hesitate to tell us what you need and we’ll do our best.