Mooresville Trust Lawyer

Mooresville Trust Lawyer

Mooresville Trust Attorney

Creating a plan to ensure your estate passes in the way you desire is incredibly important for your peace of mind, regardless of your age. Many Americans have heard that it would be wise to create a will. This can ensure that their estate passes the way they would like upon their death. However, there may be another, lesser-known route that has more benefits. Trusts are a valuable method of estate planning. They can be a straightforward way to clearly establish your final wishes. They also do not have some of the issues that come with a Last Will and Testament.

As with any legal document, the validity of a trust relies on its being drafted correctly and with all applicable laws in mind. Since all the trust requirements must be met for it to be legally binding, this is not a task that should be handled without legal help. Lassiter & Lassiter has over 50 years of experience supporting the Mooresville area with trust creation. Our dedicated staff can easily use trust law to draft a trust that meets your needs.

Mooresville Trust Lawyer

What Is a Trust?

There are several types of trusts. The main intent of each is for the creator to transfer their property to the trust. A second person will then manage the trust for the benefit of the creator or the beneficiaries. Understanding the language behind trusts is the first step to creating a trust.

  • Settlor, Grantor, or Trustmaker: This is the individual that created the trust.
  • Trustee: This person is responsible for managing the trust. They also hold legal title to the estate in the trust.
  • Beneficiaries: These individuals will receive property and hold an equitable interest in the trust.

The North Carolina Uniform Trust Code outlines the elements that must be met to create trust.

  • The settlor must have the capacity to create the trust.
  • There must be both a competent trustee and an ascertainable beneficiary.
  • The settlor cannot be the sole beneficiary and/or sole trustee.

Types of Trusts

There can be many reasons and intentions for creating a trust. There are two main categories of trusts:

  • Living Trust
    A living trust is created during the settlor’s lifetime and will be initially funded while they are still living. It will generally have conditions that state how the assets should be managed and distributed. There are two types of living trusts: revocable and irrevocable. In a revocable trust, the settlor continues to own and control the assets contained in the trust. In an irrevocable trust, a trustee will own and control the assets in the trust after the settlor establishes the trust.
  • Testamentary Trust
    A testamentary trust takes effect only after the settlor’s death. They are often written into a will and are only applicable after the settlor dies. They are generally alterable by the settlor until their death. They then become irrevocable after their death. An example would be creating a trust that holds your estate if your death occurs before your children reach the age of 25.

Common Trust Disputes

Trust disputes arise when there is a disagreement with how the trust is administered or its validity. Some heirs or beneficiaries may be unhappy with the estate distribution in the trust. They may attempt to challenge any part of the trust that they believe can help them overturn it. Common types of trust disputes include:

  • Disinheritance
    Removing a family member from inheriting any of your estate is a tough choice to make, even if you have valid reasons for severing that relationship. The disinherited individuals may challenge the trust to gain access to what they consider their share of the property.
  • Undue Influence on the Settlor
    A trust may be contested if the settlor was manipulated or coerced into establishing the trust or identifying the trustee, especially if the settlor’s capacity to make the trust is questioned.
  • Trustee Mismanagement
    The person established to handle the trust is required to do so in the interests of the settlor and the trust’s beneficiaries. A challenge may be brought if the trustee is accused of fraud or forgery while handling the trust.

FAQs About Mooresville, NC Estate Planning Law

What Are the Different Subcategories of Trusts?

While living and testamentary are two main types of trusts, there are multiple subcategories of trusts to ensure your specific needs are met. Some examples include:

  • Retirement trust
  • Charitable trust
  • Credit shelter trust
  • Special needs trust
  • Marital trust
  • Pet trust

Speaking with an experienced trust attorney can help you decide the type of trust that will most suit your intentions.

Do I Need an Attorney to Settle a Trust in North Carolina?

There is no legal requirement to employ an attorney while settling a trust in North Carolina. You may be able to reduce costs by settling a trust yourself. However, a trustee can be held criminally and financially responsible if the trust is not settled correctly. A trust attorney can help ensure the trust is settled correctly, ensuring you avoid any penalties.

What Are the Benefits of Creating a Trust?

There are multiple benefits to establishing a trust as part of your estate planning. Some of these benefits are:

  • Avoiding probate
  • Structured distributions to the beneficiaries
  • Potential tax benefits
  • Keeping the process private

Although there are numerous benefits, speaking with a skilled trust attorney can help ensure a trust is the right plan for you.

What Happens If You Die Without Creating a Plan for Your Estate?

It is considered dying instate if you pass without establishing a will or trust that handles your estate. If this occurs, your estate will be distributed based on North Carolina laws of descent and distribution. This generally means the property will pass to your spouse and children. If you have neither, then the court will search for any other family members to inherit it.

Establishing a Trust

Creating a legally binding plan for your estate is incredibly important for both you and your beneficiaries. For over five decades, Lassiter & Lassiter has been a trusted estate planning firm in the Mooresville area. As you begin settling your affairs, reaching out to our team can give you peace of mind about how your property will pass after your death.

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Call our office at 704-873-2295 or email us today.

Attorney Mike Lassiter grew up in Statesville, makes his living serving the people of Statesville and published a book capturing the changing landscape of small town life across North Carolina and Iredell County. His keen sense of history, dedication to the area and 30 years of legal experience make him an ideal attorney for your legal needs.

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