Lawyers In Shelby County For Comprehensive Estate Planning

At the offices of Douglass & Runger, Attorneys at Law, we assist individuals and families with the often difficult process of estate planning. Our skilled lawyers realize that there are many different factors and variables that you must consider as you make decisions about the long-term future of your property, assets, and investments. With our legal knowledge and commitment to you as our client, we are prepared to help you create an estate plan customized to meet your specific needs.

You probably are familiar with a will as an estate planning tool, at least at a rudimentary level. You have probably heard of trusts as well. What you might not realize is that the law provides for a wide variety of different trusts to be created to secure assets and to transfer those assets to another party. One type of trust in particular, however, is common in the area of estate planning. A revocable living trust can offer numerous advantages and benefits when it is set up and managed properly.

What You Should Know About Revocable Living Trusts

By definition, a trust is a legal arrangement that authorizes a selected party—known as a “trustee”—to manage and control any assets placed in the trust. The creator of the trust—called the “grantor”—transfers ownership of the assets to trust so that the assets can be secured and distributed to named “beneficiaries” in accordance with the wishes of the grantor. Trusts are a popular choice for many people because assets in trust are usually exempt from the process of probate upon the grantor’s death.
When you set up a revocable living trust, you, as the grantor, are permitted to amend the terms of the trust anytime you wish to do so. Most grantors also remain as primary trustees, maintaining full control over the assets in the trust. When the grantor dies, a named successor trustee takes over, and this new trustee becomes responsible for fulfilling the responsibilities laid out in the trust agreement. These responsibilities may include protecting and growing the assets, as well as distributing them to beneficiaries.

Why Choose A Revocable Living Trust?

Our skilled lawyers realize that revocable living trust can have advantages over using just a will in many cases. However, the two instruments are commonly used together. When compared to a “regular” will, a revocable living trust typically allows for a faster, smoother transfer of property to your heirs, partially because the assets in the trust are usually able to bypass probate. This means the new trustee can begin transferring your assets to your beneficiaries almost immediately.

A trust also offers much more privacy than a will does. Before the terms of a will can be carried out, the whole document must be reviewed and verified by the probate court, which means your will is public record. A trust, on the other hand, is a private document, which only becomes public if it is formally challenged in court.

Another major benefit of a living trust is that it can be effective as soon as the documents are signed and the trust is funded. This means that a revocable living trust can be used to plan for possible incapacitation or a disability in your lifetime. A will, by comparison, has absolutely no legal power until after the death of the person who created it. You can also include certain protections against creditors in your living trust. Our team will assist you in analyzing your situation and work to help you create living trust provisions that meet your family’s needs.

Tn Community Property Trust (revocable Trust)

A Tennessee Community Property Trust (TNCPT) is a unique type of revocable trust for married couples that is designed to minimize capital gains tax for assets such as real estate investments and securities that have appreciated substantially at the death of a spouse. TNCPTs are available for married couples out of state if there is a Tennessee Trustee serving. At the offices of Douglass & Runger, Attorneys at Law, we are well versed in establishing and properly funding TNCPTs for our estate planning clients that can save you and your spouse thousands of dollars in taxes.

**Although a TNCPT is a type of Revocable Trust it might be more advantageous for TNCPT to have its own section.

Let Us Help

For more information about our firm and our approach to the practice of probate law, contact our office. Call (901) 388-5805 to schedule a confidential consultation and case review today. Douglass & Runger, Attorneys at Law, serve clients throughout Memphis, Shelby County, and the surrounding areas.

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