Preparing for the future is an important topic for anyone who owns property and wants to be sure that ownership is passed to the correct individuals when upon their death. A Last Will and Testament and Living Trust is perhaps the best way to accomplish your goals and avoid probate in some cases. Living Trusts are especially important in circumstances where a person owns property with natural resources. Due to potential complications that can result from ownership of land containing natural resources, it is important to contact estate lawyers to establish a Living Trust. Law firms that handle estate administration can help protect landowner rights, including the ownership transfer of resource bearing properties, with a Living Trust.

What Is A Living Trust?

Attorneys who assist in estate planning advise clients that a Living Trust is a legal document similar to a will; it allows property to be passed on to those named in the Trust, without the need for probate. It is a document that gives control of the property to named Trustees who control assets contained in the Trust and handle their ultimate distribution.

Establishing A Living Trust

A Living Trust is created with a Declaration of Trust. In this Declaration, the person creating the Trust is named as Trustee; property is transferred to the Trust, giving the Trust control over that property. The Trustee then appoints a Successor and provides directions as to whom the property should be given upon his or her death. The Successor Trustee is responsible for transferring property directly to those named as recipients in the Declaration of Trust on behalf of the Trustee.

Lawyers familiar with estate law state that this document can be changed as desired, and allows more than one person to have control of property as Co-Trustees. A Living Trust can be used to control various types of assets, but is especially useful for real estate.

Who Needs A Living Trust?

Lawyers who deal with estate issues say Living Trusts are similar to Wills. The document states who is to receive certain property once the person making the Will or Trustee has died. Trusts differ slightly in that the Trust owns the property, which makes it easier to transfer property after the Trustee dies. Although a Living Trust is not the only way property can be transferred, it is a more direct way to ensure that specific property is distributed as desired. A Will is still necessary to cover any undocumented property or other assets that have not been specifically included within the Trust itself.

Because a Living Trust may protect property from probate, it is especially useful for more complex ownership situations, such as property with natural resources. A Living Trust, prepared by estate attorneys can help guarantee certain property goes to the named recipient without any hassle or issues.

Estate planning is something that should be done well before any need exists, while there is adequate time to properly plan for the future. A Living Trust is an important document for anyone who owns real estate or other assets, especially if that property contains oil or natural gas resources. Creating a Declaration of Trust with the help of an attorney experienced with estate planning is the best way to protect assets and real estate from potential probate problems. If a person owns resource-rich property, they should contact a law firm experiennced in estate administration to discuss a Living Trust as well as other ways to protect property and assets. This is the best way to be sure property and assets are transferred to the right person upon their death.

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