It used to be that only the very wealthy would need to have a trust created as part of their Texas estate planning. However, nowadays, people throughout the Dallas area, use trusts for a number of reasons, to avoid probate and also to avoid trust litigation after death of an heir. This informative blog post by one of our top Dallas trust attorneys explores the issues of estate planning and trusts with an eye to avoiding trust litigation.
~ Editor’s Note
Trust Planning to Avoid Litigation
Estate planning today comes in a variety of levels of sophistication. One client might be most concerned with avoiding or deferring federal or state taxes that could be triggered by their death, or by the transfer of significant wealth. Another client might be most concerned with streamlining the probate process to deal with property in multiple states. Yet another client might primarily be concerned with ensuring (or at least trying to ensure) some diplomacy among their loved ones in a blended family.
Trust planning is often an integral component of an estate plan. And trust plans are no longer tools only used by the wealthy, or those with dreams of dynasties spanning generations. More often than not, even simple estate plans contemplate contingencies and specific objectives that trust planning can accomplish. Some of the advantages offered, and reasons why trust implementation could be appropriate are:
- Extended “dead-hand” control of assets by the testator;
- Matching the receipt of assets with the accomplishment of specific objectives by the beneficiaries (g. obtaining a college degree);
- Planning for disabled or potentially-disabled dependants;
- Avoidance of formal probate procedures or multiple probate procedures;
- Ensuring responsible management for the “irresponsible” beneficiary;
- Anticipating future disharmony among the family (g. remarriage of spouses); and
- Deferral or avoidance of state or federal taxation.
Regardless of the reason — and they could be virtually innumerable – implementing trust plans makes sense for a growing segment of our population. Some trusts are basic, simple tools to manage family or personal assets correctly and appropriately. Others are by their own nature complex, complicated and deserving of full-time professional attention. In our area of practice, we often encounter well-crafted plans that went wrong, or well-meaning clients that did not plan for the right contingency. The simplest lesson we learn at the conclusion of all of our pieces of trust litigation is that better plans address potential problems upfront.
Editor’s Summary: Trust Planning to Avoid Litigation ~ Dallas, Texas
People call our Dallas-based, North Texas trust litigation law firm every day wanting information and advice on how to dispute a trust, how to litigate a trust, and how to avoid litigation by setting up a trust properly in the first place. Often times, they visit us from other nearby cities to Dallas such as Plano, Arlington, or McKinney for a no charge initial phone consultation with one of our top trust attorneys. As specialists in trust litigation, our attorneys are experts at not only disputing trusts but also setting them up in such a way that they avoid probate and litigation down the road.