What are the steps in creating a living trust?

A living trust may help an Oklahoma resident protect his or her assets during life and after death. To create a trust, it is important to find the right adviser who can create a document that meets an individual's unique needs. While a lawyer may make a good adviser, those who have a small estate may be able to fill out forms available online or have their bank manage their assets.

To reduce the cost of making a trust, it may be a good idea to ask ahead of time what to bring to an attorney's office. Generally, an individual needs to bring financial documents, deeds to property owned and other documents that may need to be verified upon that person's passing. When creating a trust, it is important to make sure that it coordinates with the rest of an estate plan.

Most living trusts are revocable. Such a trust must be funded either before the grantor dies or through pourover provisions contained in the accompanying will, which would provide that all of the estate assets would be transferred into the trust. Grantors are advised to keep enough assets in their estate to pay taxes and other final expenses.

Creating living trusts as soon as possible may make it easier to create a cohesive and unified estate plan. It also may allow an individual to have more control over his or her assets if mentally incapacitated while alive. An estate planning attorney may be able to help an individual create a living trust that meets his or her needs both now and in the future.

Source: American Bar Association , "Living Trusts ", November 03, 2014

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