Are you thinking about establishing a trust to provide for your loved ones or to ensure that your most-loved charitable organization can be listed as your beneficiary without needing to go through the probate process? Depending upon your motivations for setting up a trust, it is critical to understand the legal terminology that is used to describe different types of trusts, and to understand your rights and responsibilities as a grantor (the person who creates the trust) with different forms of trusts in Texas.
In Fort Worth, the Texas Property Code governs the establishment and management of most types of trusts. We want to provide you with more information about the different kinds of trusts you can create in Texas, and to urge you to seek advice from an experienced Fort Worth estate planning lawyer to ensure that the trust meets all legal requirements.
Revocable Living Trust
A revocable living trust is a kind of trust that allows the grantor to use the assets during his or her lifetime, and to transfer those assets to beneficiaries upon the grantor’s death. As with other trusts, a revocable living trust does not require probate, which means that assets can pass to the beneficiaries without those parties needing to go through the probate process.
The revocable living trust is created during the grantor’s lifetime. The fact that the trust is revocable means that the grantor can dissolve the trust during his or her lifetime (differently, an irrevocable trust is one that the grantor does not have the ability or authority to dissolve).
A testamentary trust is a particular kind of trust that is created in your will. It does not become activated until your death. Accordingly, none of your assets will transfer through the testamentary trust until after your death. You can create a testamentary trust for a family member or another party and allow you to ensure that your assets will be distributed to that person or persons according to the terms of the trust. Testamentary trusts in Texas can last for a specific number of years (e.g., until a child reaches the age of 30), or they can last indefinitely. Unlike other types of trusts, a testamentary trust does not allow the beneficiary to avoid the probate process.
Special Needs Trust
A special needs trust (SNT), which can also be described as a supplemental needs trust, is a type of trust established for a disabled beneficiary. Typically, a grantor who creates a special needs trust so that she or he can provide for a disabled child or another disabled family member after his or her death in such a way that does not jeopardize the disabled person’s ability to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits and other types of government benefits.
Contact a Fort Worth Estate Planning Lawyer for Assistance
When you are thinking about creating a trust, you should work closely with an experienced Fort Worth estate planning lawyer. Our firm can discuss estate planning options with you and help you to make the choice that is tailored to your needs. Contact The Fetty Firm, PC today to learn more about how our Texas estate planning attorneys can help you.