Certified Document Services
What is a living trust?
Do I need to set up separate record keeping for the living trust?
No, as long as the grantor acts as the initial trustee of the trust.
Do I need an attorney to form a living trust?
No, an attorney is not required in order to form a living trust. You can prepare the legal paperwork and file it yourself, or use a professional legal documentation service such as Certified Document Solutions. However, if you have questions that you cannot resolve on your own, or if your estate will face significant taxation, or if you believe that your spouse or children may challenge your living trust, then you should definitely consult with a licensed attorney.
Do I still need a will if I set up a living trust?
Yes. A will acts as back up to deal with any property that is not included in the living trust, either because it was improperly transferred or acquired after the creation of the trust. A will also covers property that was intentionally left out of the trust (e.g. cars, personal checking accounts). The Certified Document Solutions Living Trust includes a simple will for this purpose.
Can I include property in my trust on which I still owe money?
Yes. The most common example of such property is a house still subject to a mortgage. Your beneficiary will be responsible for that debt when he receives the property from the trust. If you want to structure your trust so that all debts will be paid from the trust upon your death you will need to consult an attorney.
Does a living trust avoid estate taxes?
Your estate is still vulnerable to estate taxes. It is important to remember, however, that there is no estate tax assessed on an estate worth less than $2,000,000 for a single person in 2007. In addition, an AB living trust may allow you to effectively double this exemption.
Can a living trust protect my assets from being used to cover catastrophic medical costs?
You should be aware that including a catastrophic illness clause in your trust cannot shield your assets adequately. If you are concerned about this you should consult an attorney.
When should you update a living trust?
You should change your trust by giving the trustee a signed, written amendment to the trust in the following situations:
Certified Document Services (CDS) prepares legal documents for non-lawyers in their own legal actions. CDS offers no legal advice, recommendations, mediation or counseling under any circumstance. CDS are not Lawyers, are not employed by a Lawyer, cannot give any legal advice and our employees are not acting as your Attorney. CDS can give you general factual information pertaining to legal rights, procedures or options available to you in a legal matter when you are not represented by an attorney. CDS cannot give you specific advice, opinions or recommendations about your legal rights, remedies, defenses, or strategies.