Springfield Trusts Lawyer

Anthony Phillips

Most people know that even if they do not have a lot of money or property, they should have a will. A will directs who gets your property after you die. If you do not have a will but own property in your own name, the state decides who gets it. Many people do not know that they should also consider establishing a trust. There is a perception that trusts are only for people who have a significant amount of assets, but the reality is many working families could benefit from having one.

When you are ready to make plans to protect your family after you are gone, or if you are concerned about ensuring you and your spouse can afford long-term care if you need it, contact a Springfield trusts lawyer. Our well-versed attorneys can explain the benefits of a trust and help you decide if it could be right for you.

Understanding the Basics of Trusts

A trust is a legal entity that can own property. The person who creates the trust, known as the grantor, usually puts property they own into it, which is called funding the trust. When the grantor dies, any property in the trust is exempt from probate. The grantor appoints a trustee to manage the assets in the trust. Sometimes, the grantor can also be a trustee, but in other cases, the grantor must relinquish control of the trust to the trustee. The people who benefit from a trust are called its beneficiaries.

Trusts can be revocable, which means the grantor retains control of the property in the trust. They can also be irrevocable, meaning the grantor must relinquish control of the property. A Springfield attorney can advise on what kind of trust would best suit a specific person’s goals.

Different Types of Trusts for Different Purposes

There are multiple ways to structure a trust, depending on the grantor’s needs and goals. Trusts can ensure a family has access to funds after a death, provide for an elderly or disabled person’s needs, and, in some cases, reduce tax liability.

Avoiding Probate

Probate is the court-supervised process of distributing the property of someone who dies. Probate can take months or even years, can get expensive, and is public. Additionally, while probate is ongoing, the person’s family members cannot access the property, which can sometimes cause hardship.

Missouri Revised Statute § 456.6-602 governs revocable living trusts. When a grantor puts property in a trust and the trust dissolves on the grantor’s death, the property in it goes to the beneficiaries immediately. It does not pass through probate and the contents of the trust is not public. A Springfield attorney can explain how to use a revocable living trust to ensure a family has access to money, real estate, and other property when a grantor dies.

Long-Term Care Planning

As people age, many of them develop age-related medical conditions that make it impossible for them to receive the care they need at home. Unfortunately, in many instances, only wealthy people can afford the cost of long-term care in a nursing home.

Most families must rely on Medicaid to fund long-term care, but there are income limits and a Medicaid recipient’s assets must not exceed a certain value. However, the Medicaid rules permit putting some assets in a trust, the value of which will not be counted when the program calculates the value of an applicant’s assets. The rules governing this type of trust are complex so getting competent legal advice is critical.

Special Needs Trust

A grantor could establish a special needs trust to ensure a loved one who cannot support themselves due to a disability has resources after the grantor’s death. The trust must be carefully designed to ensure it does not endanger the beneficiary’s access to public benefits.

Irrevocable Trusts

Grantors who are concerned that their loved ones might have to pay estate taxes could consider placing assets in an irrevocable trust. The grantor loses control over assets in the trust, but this strategy can reduce or eliminate the estate taxes the family might owe after the grantor’s death.

Ask a Springfield Attorney About Whether a Trust Might Benefit Your Family

Trusts can be a critical element in any estate plan or elder care plan. You owe it to yourself and your family to learn whether a trust can benefit you.

A Springfield trusts lawyer can discuss your needs and concerns for you and your family as well as explain your legal options during a consultation. Call our firm today to schedule an appointment.

Consult A Springfield Attorney About Your Family Law Matters Today

Phone(417) 708-8900

When you need assistance with a family law matter, get in touch with a capable attorney. A Springfield family lawyer from Anthony Phillips Law Firm, LLC, can help you resolve the matter as amicably as possible while protecting your rights.

Contact our firm today to schedule a consultation at your convenience.

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Anthony Phillips provides legal services to both individuals and business entities. We have a skilled and experienced team, ready to address all your legal needs.