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If you are ready to start planning your estate, it’s vital to understand your options. One thing you may want to consider is setting up a living trust. Though many think a trust is only for the wealthy, you’d be surprised. However, if you want to create a trust, it’s necessary to know how to avoid the most common mistakes made when establishing these documents. When you’re ready to make a living trust, you’ll want to work with a Washtenaw County trusts attorney to help you through this process.

What Is a Living Trust?

A living trust is an estate planning method to help you avoid your assets undergoing the probate process upon your passing. This allows you to regain better control over your assets throughout the course of your life, as you can continue living like normal. This means you can continue to use your funds as you please. If you create a revocable trust, you can alter the terms of the trust at any point before your passing. However, if the terms of the trust are irrevocable, the decisions made cannot be changed.

You will most likely serve as the trustee of your trust, but upon your death, a successor will take over. This entity is responsible for managing and distributing your assets according to the terms and conditions of your trust. They will ensure your property is managed and the beneficiaries receive the inheritance you left to them.

What Are the Most Common Errors Made?

Unfortunately, there are many errors that can invalidate your trust. The most common mistake many make is failing to properly fund their trust. If you do not put the correct assets into the fund by changing the titles and designating beneficiaries, assets can end up in probate. As such, ensuring you take the necessary steps to properly fund the trust is vital.

Another mistake many make is failing to name a successor. This is a complex process that requires a considerable amount of responsibility to fulfill. You’ll need to carefully consider who you name as your trustee since they are responsible for managing the assets after you pass away. Many choose to appoint loved ones without considering whether or not they are responsible enough to handle the duties.

Similarly, your trust should be kept up to date. You’ll likely find that your circumstances continue to change, so you should ensure that your trust reflects any updates made in your financial or personal life.

Finally, the most glaring error many make when creating a living trust is assuming they can do it on their own. Unfortunately, there are many websites out there that offer DIY documents. However, you may not have the knowledge to complete these in an effective and legally binding manner. As such, it’s imperative to enlist the assistance of an experienced attorney to help you through this complex process.

At Collis, Griffor & Hendra, we can help you navigate the complexities of setting up a living trust to ensure it meets your wishes. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you.

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