Trusts can offer a number of important benefits, including avoidance of time consuming and costly probate, creditor protection, avoidance or reduction of death tax, possible savings on capital gains, retention of privacy, conservatorship avoidance, and control of assets during life and death.

There are two types of trusts (often called living trusts): revocable and irrevocable.
A revocable trust can be amended or discontinued at any time by the person who sets up the trust, providing a flexible repository for assets.

Once the revocable trust is established, the person establishing the trust, known as the grantor, normally appoints himself as the trustee or manager of the trust and the beneficiary or the receiver of any income.

When a living trust is set up, the grantor transfers the title of the assets to the trust. As it is not considered a gift, no taxes are due because of the transfer. Everything transferred then becomes the property of the trust, and the trustee maintains control of the trust property and is free to buy, sell or give assets away as the trustee sees fit.

Advantages of setting up a living trust include the savings in time and money on estate settlement and probate; income and assets distribution as described in the trust document even after your death; in the event of incapacity, a successor trustee can assume your responsibilities in managing the trust's assets; your heirs will not have to disclose the value of the trust's assets in public during probate; and it can protect your heirs by allowing them to rent or purchase assets at a price you pre-specify in the trust instrument.

An irrevocable trust is one in which the grantor, or the person setting up the trust, revokes or waives his or her right to revoke or amend the trust and hands over control of its assets to a third party.

In addition to loss of control and the right to modify the trust, the other major difference between an irrevocable trust and a revocable trust is tax liability. You should consult an attorney to find out more details about the benefits of having a trust and to determine whether a revocable trust or an irrevocable trust is best suited to help you achieve your goals.

The transfer of assets into the trust must be done formally.  Most can be transferred without adverse tax implications, but it is better to check with an attorney for advice and guidance. The drafting of the trust instrument is very important as it must completely cover your wishes regarding distribution of your property, who will take over as trustee on your death or incapacity, etc.

Our experienced attorneys are able to advise you and draft the necessary documents to insure your wishes are carried out and your estate passes to its beneficiaries in a timely and cost effective manner. We assist clients located in FFort Bend County, Harris County, Galveston County and Brazoria County including Sugar Land, Missouri City, Stafford, Richmond, Rosenberg, Fresno, Clear Lake, League City, Webster, Friendswood, Pearland, and the Houston metropolitan area. If you would like to discuss how a  trust can benefit you and your family, click here to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation with an attorney.