Do I Need An Attorney For My Living Trust?
Almost everyone has access to the internet these days. It is easy and possible to obtain almost any type of legal document you wish to have, at the click of a button, even living trusts.
With companies like LegalZoom offering you the opportunity to create a living trust online, the question on your mind might be, do I need an attorney to do my legal documents when it comes to trust?
The short answer is unconventionally surprising. The short answer is no. You don’t need an attorney to do a trust. In fact, besides LegalZoom, there are many services out there that allow you to create a living trust without an attorney.
Nevertheless, online trusts are RISKY. Online trusts provide limited options and flexibility for your family. Do you have a problematic child? A special needs child? A child married to someone you distrust? What about your grandchildren? If something happens to your childbefore you are your grandchildren protected?
Every family is unique. They have their own struggles. Compare yourself to your friend. Is everything about your health, children, at home situation and finances the exact same? No one trust can possibly fit all situations. Therefore, online trusts are labeled cookie-cutter trusts, and it may not work for each and every family.
Avoid Cookie-Cutter Trusts
You must be cautious of companies or even attorneys who use these kinds of trusts, where your name is inserted into the same document, which is then repeatedly used for each client. When creating a living trust, unfortunately, one size does not fit all.
Your trust must be specifically tailored for your unique estate needs. If you go with these cookie-cutter trusts, your estate might end up in probate, even though you spent a lot of money in order to avoid that.
That’s one of the issues I see with the cookie-cutter trusts. They are lacking the essential element of moving the assets into the trust – called funding. Without that step, the trust is nothing but a shiny pen with no ink – it’s useless!
Another issue to be aware of regarding these types of trusts, is the fact that in most cases, they disregard the specific laws governing a particular state. Since they are a one size fits all, they might include many provisions not relevant to a particular state, while simultaneously omitting numerous other provisions which are very relevant.
So, why do people opt to use them? Simple. Online trusts are less expensive. Well, the irony of that is that many times after a loved one passes away, the children meet with me and say
“Hey, my parents created trust from an online site such as LegalZoom. Can you please help me fulfill the wishes in that trust?”
Then, I have to review the trusts and give the family the bad news that there are provisions in the trust that are missing. There are transfers that are missing. In fact, there could be dozens of issues with these documents.
Now, I have to fix all the issues by going to court. Going to court is expensive. After spending months going to court and filing the right paperwork, the client realizes that no money was saved by online trust. In fact, it would have costs less to do it right the first time.
When dealing with estate planning, you cannot really predict whether it is something that’s going to work until it is too late. So, the whole point is to make sure that you are in good hands.
Take the Proper Actions Today
Regardless of the complexity of your finances or the size of your assets, the decision to create a trust is important and should be discussed with an estate planning lawyer.
Aliav Law offers the ability for you to discovery your unique scenario.
Schedule a FREE strategy session with an attorney by clicking the link below.