Estate planning is something that everyone should complete, but few people actually do. Wills, advance directives, powers of attorney, trusts – with so many options, it’s not surprising that many people put off their estate or end-of-life planning. When talking about this process, however, trusts are a major component that not many people recognize the benefit of. They won’t be suitable for everyone, but knowing the advantages and disadvantages is the only way to determine if a trust is right for you.
What is a Trust?
A trust is a legal entity used to hold property and assets. Many people find that transferring their property to a trust versus keeping it in their name provides protection for their assets. There are two main classifications – revocable and irrevocable. They both serve essentially the same purpose in almost the same way, but we are going to focus on irrevocable trusts here. If you would like further clarification on the difference between the two or have specific questions about your trust options, please reach out to our Texas estate planning team.
What are Irrevocable Trusts?
An irrevocable trust is one that cannot be easily modified or changed. Texas Property Code states that the settlor, or creator, of a trust can revoke it unless it is irrevocable. That may seem like a strict rule, but such trusts can be changed in some circumstances.
People often place their assets into an irrevocable trust in order to avoid paying estate taxes on them. That’s not to say that this property is completely exempt from taxes of any kind. When you decide to get a trust, you should also consult with your tax professional to see how your trust will affect your taxes.
Irrevocable trusts are a popular estate planning tool for the tax advantages they offer, but many people feel stuck during their estate planning without guidance from an expert. If that is how you’re feeling and you are looking for someone to help you take the next step, reach out to The Werner Law Group. Our estate planning team has the experience and knowledge to help you create a plan that is suited to your specific needs and preferences.
Changing an Irrevocable Trust
If all parties involved in the trust agree to the proposed change, then generally, it can be made. The parties usually include the settlor, the trustee, and the beneficiary. A petition to the probate court to request to terminate a trust is another option, although this is usually reserved for specific situations. This process can also be difficult to navigate without assistance from an estate planning attorney. Let our Texas probate lawyers help you navigate the complex world of trusts and estate planning.
The Werner Law Group is dedicated to providing trusted, quality legal services to our clients. If you would like to discuss how our breadth and depth of knowledge can be put to use for your irrevocable trust or other Texas estate planning needs, call us today. Our estate planning department is open seven days a week and can be reached by text or phone call at 361-433-5757.