Understanding Living Trusts in Texas and Why You Should Have One

August 28, 2023

This article is for educational and entertainment purposes only. This is not legal advice and should not be relied on as such. Every case is different. Consult a licensed professional in your state. Viewing this website or its content does not create an attorney-client relationship with Lyda Law Firm or any of its lawyers.

Article written by Attorney Maria Ortiz.

Estate planning is crucial to ensure your assets are distributed in accordance with your wishes upon your passing. One powerful estate planning tool is a living trust, a legal arrangement that can provide numerous benefits for individuals and families in Texas. 

In this blog post, we will delve into what a living trust is, how it works under Texas law, and why you should consider having one as a part of your comprehensive estate plan.

What is a Living Trust?

A living trust, also known as an inter vivos trust, is a legal document that allows you to place your assets into a trust during your lifetime. 

This trust is managed by a trustee of your choosing (which can be you initially), and it outlines how your assets will be managed and distributed to beneficiaries upon your death. 

A living trust can be revocable, meaning you can make changes to it or even revoke it entirely during your lifetime.

How Does a Living Trust Work?

Texas law recognizes and provides a framework for living trusts, making them a popular choice for estate planning in the state. Here's how a living trust typically works under Texas law:

1. Trustee Selection:  You choose a trustee to manage the trust. This can be you initially, but you should also name a successor trustee who will take over trust management if you become unable to do so.

2. Creation: You create a living trust document that outlines the trust's terms, the assets you're placing into the trust, and the beneficiaries who will eventually receive those assets.

3. Funding the Trust:  You transfer ownership of your chosen assets (such as real estate, bank accounts, investments, etc.) into the name of the trust.

4. Management and Distribution:  While you're alive and capable, you can manage the assets in the trust as you see fit. In case you become incapacitated or pass away, the successor trustee takes over and follows the instructions outlined in the trust document for managing and distributing the assets to your beneficiaries.

Why Should You Have a Living Trust?

1. Avoiding Probate: One of the most significant advantages of a living trust is that it can help your estate avoid the lengthy and often costly probate process. Assets held in a trust generally pass directly to beneficiaries without the need for court involvement, expediting the distribution process.

2. Privacy: Unlike a will, which becomes a public document during probate, a living trust allows your estate to be distributed privately, maintaining your family's confidentiality.

3. Asset Protection for Heirs:  A living trust allows you to create provisions that protect your beneficiaries’ inheritances from creditors, legal claims, and unforeseen financial hardships, ensuring your legacy benefits your loved ones as intended. 

4. Flexibility: You can make changes to your living trust during your lifetime, providing the flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances without requiring an entirely new document.

5. Minimizing Conflict:  By providing clear instructions in the trust document, you reduce the chances of family disputes over asset distribution after your passing.

Overall, a living trust is a powerful tool for estate planning. It allows you to maintain control over your assets during your lifetime and ensures a smooth transfer of assets to your beneficiaries without the complexities of probate. 

Speak with an Estate Planning Attorney in Texas Today

Schedule a consultation with an estate planning lawyer today to discuss the right estate plan for you. Although it may seem daunting, preparing an estate plan does not have to be a difficult process, and Lyda Law Firm can guide you every step of the way.

At Lyda Law Firm, we offer affordable flat rates for individuals and couples in need of an estate plan. If you have questions or need assistance preparing or updating your estate plan, please contact us so we can help you plan for your future today.

Disclaimer: This article is for educational and entertainment purposes only. This is not legal advice and should not be relied on as such. Every case is different. Consult a licensed professional in your state. Viewing this website or its content does not create an attorney-client relationship with the Lyda Law Firm or any of its lawyers.

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