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Virginia Beach Attorneys for Living Trusts

If you are creating an estate plan in Virginia Beach, you might want to consider establishing a living trust. This popular estate planning tool allows you to place assets in a trust. You can continue to use and control those assets while you are alive, and upon your death, the assets you placed in the trust will be distributed to your beneficiaries.

The Virginia Beach attorneys of Pincus Goodman, P.C., have helped countless clients of all ages establish living trusts as part of their estate plans. We will discuss your personal needs and goals, help you determine which type of trust is right for your situation, and assist you in drafting a legally valid, enforceable living trust. Contact us at (757) 301-9634 for a consultation today.

How a Living Trust Works

To establish a valid living trust in Virginia, you, the grantor, must set up the trust and fund it. You will be in charge of managing the assets you place into the trust while you are living. You can place a wide variety of assets into the trust, though some types of assets do not qualify. For instance, you cannot place retirement accounts, such as a 401k, into a living trust.

You will also need to name a designated trustee to manage the funds in the trust. In general, grantors typically name themselves as trustees. That way, they can exercise control over their own assets while they are still living. If you decide to name yourself as the designated trustee, you will need to appoint a successor trustee who can take over management of the trust after you pass away. That person will be responsible for distributing assets to your heirs, so it’s important to choose someone you trust.

A living trust can be revocable or irrevocable. The core difference between the two types of living trusts is that revocable living trusts can be altered while you are still living. Irrevocable living trusts cannot be changed once they are established.

Benefits of a Living Trust

One of the main benefits of establishing a living trust is that it allows your beneficiaries to avoid probate. Probate is the judicial process in which your last will and testament is approved as valid and enforceable by a court. This process can be time-consuming and costly for your heirs, but the assets in a living trust do not have to go through probate. This allows your chosen heirs to benefit from the assets in the trust right away after your passing. Any assets you leave to your heirs in a will must first go through probate before they can be distributed.

Because the property in a living trust is not made public, placing assets in a trust protects your privacy. Wills, however, become public records during probate. Wills can also be challenged during probate, while trusts are more difficult to contest because they avoid the probate process entirely.

Establishing a revocable living trust has the added benefit of giving you total control over the assets in the trust while you are still living. When you place assets in a trust, the trust technically becomes the owner of those assets. But under a revocable living trust, you will still be able to use the funds in the trust as you typically would. You can also control when the assets in the trust will be disbursed to your heirs, even after your death.

Contact a Virginia Beach Estate Planning Attorney Today

If you are planning to include a living trust in your overall estate plan, we recommend seeking legal advice first. Call (757) 301-9634 to schedule a consultation with one of our Virginia Beach living trust attorneys at Pincus Goodman, P.C., today. We will use our knowledge of Virginia state law to help you create a trust that meets your specific needs and address any legal questions or concerns you may have. 

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