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MichieHamlett Attorneys At Law Virginia Medical Malpractice Attorney
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Virginia Trusts Attorney

A will and advance directives will be sufficient to cover the estate planning needs of many Virginians, but others may want to consider making a trust part of the equation. When you have substantial assets or face extraordinary circumstances, a trust enables you to realize numerous benefits during your lifetime and at death. Financial advisers from US Bank describe some of the advantages of preparing a trust, including greater control over your assets, avoiding the probate process, flexibility, and many more.

Our team at the MichieHamlett Law Firm is here to ensure you take advantage of these benefits and leverage them with your estate planning goals. We can advise you on the types of trusts that would serve your needs, and assist with legally establishing the structure. To learn more, please contact our office to set up a consultation with a Virginia trusts attorney. You can also read on for some basics about the role of trusts in estate planning.

Basic Legal Concepts Governing Trusts

In short, a trust is a legal entity created to hold assets and manage them according to the terms of the trust document. While the details vary according to the type of trust and language you include in it, some of the key components include:

  • You, as grantor, create the trust by executing the proper documents and “funding” the entity with chosen assets, i.e., titling your property in the name of the trust.
  • You name a trustee to manage the assets; in some situations, you will name yourself as trustee.
  • You designate individuals as beneficiaries to receive distributions of principal and/or income according to your wishes.
  • The trustee is bound to manage trust assets as dictated by the trust paperwork, for the benefit of the designated beneficiaries.

Common Trusts and Their Role in Virginia Estate Planning

Most trusts fall into one of two categories: Revocable or irrevocable, which refers to whether the grantor can make changes after establishing the trust. Our lawyers at the MichieHamlett Law Firm can explain the function of additional types of trusts you might want to consider within these two categories, such as:

  • A living trust that holds your assets during your lifetime, which delivers benefits since your trustee can step into your shoes if you become incapacitated;
  • Testamentary trusts that are created by your will and take effect at death;
  • Spendthrift trusts that include restrictions on how beneficiaries can receive distributions;
  • Special needs trusts, which can provide distributions to beneficiaries with disability without affecting their eligibility for government benefits; and,
  • Charitable remainder trusts in which you maintain until your passing, at which point the assets are distributed to a qualifying charity.

Set Up a Consultation with a Virginia Trusts Attorney Today

This overview may help you understand the fundamental concepts behind trusts, but there are many additional details you need to know. For more information, please contact the MichieHamlett Law Firm to schedule a consultation with one of our trusts lawyers. Once we review your circumstances and discuss your objectives, we can help develop an estate plan to help you achieve them.

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