Title: 5 Potential Advantages of Setting Up a Trust


People often create a will to direct the distribution of their assets after death. But you can also set up a trust to achieve the same objective. The trust is a legal document that your lawyer will prepare. The document will specify a trustee who will distribute your assets as you wish.

So, why should you prepare a trust? Read on to find out.

1. Avoid a Costly Probate

Probate is a court process determining the settlement of your debts and assets after death. This process may be necessary if you create a will instead of a trust. 

The probate process involves the payment of multiple fees. For example, you may have to pay legal commissions and county taxes. The executor will also ask for payment when handling your will. The costs can quickly mount if you own assets in multiple states. Furthermore, the probate process can take several months to complete. The delay may cause financial problems for the beneficiaries.

On the other hand, a trust doesn’t have to go through court. The trust manager has the sole responsibility to manage your trust upon death. Hence, you will avoid costly court processes. Moreover, your beneficiaries will get more money.

Another disadvantage of the probate process is the lack of confidentiality. In many states, a will becomes a public document after your death. A public will may encourage other potential heirs to contest the document in court. In contrast, a trust is a private document that protects the confidentiality of the beneficiaries and the property.

2. Get Help After Incapacitation

A trust can help if you get incapacitated and can’t take care of yourself. The trust arrangement is better than relying on your relatives’ goodwill or waiting for directions from the court.

Once you are unable to discharge your daily duties, the trust executor will step in. The executor will organize your medication and manage your assets. As a consequence, you won’t have to deal with an executor that the court appoints.

Similarly, a living trust is subject to revocation and modification. This means that you can go to court to contest the alleged incapacitation and regain control of your assets.

3. Save on Taxes

Setting up a trust may lead to substantial tax benefits. The tax benefits depend on the type of trust. For example, you can amend an irrevocable trust to take advantage of new tax laws. 

An irrevocable trust may also provide avenues for tax savings. A case in point is the potential exemption of your property from estate tax after your death. 

4. Maintain Control Over Your Assets After Death

A living trust allows you to take care of your loved ones even after you’re dead. For example, you can postpone the transfer of property until your children become adults. The trust also prevents creditors and other individuals from taking control of your assets.

The ability to set up parameters ensures prudent management of your assets. Therefore, you will have peace of mind, certainty, and comfort.

5. Avoid Wrangles in Court

Contesting a trust in court is more problematic than challenging a will. For the court to nullify a trust, the contestants must provide irrefutable evidence to prove incompetence. 

In particular, the plaintiff will have to show that the trust documents are fake. Proving this is difficult if you have been actively managing the trust. 

Setting up a trust is one of the best ways to manage your assets during and after your lifetime. The trust can protect your health and interests and ensure prudent property management. However, these benefits will only come to light if you hire a competent lawyer like Harris Shelton. We will work with you to create a trust that adheres to the law and fulfills your wishes.

Contact us for estate planning legal services.

Title: A Guide to Estate Planning After a Dementia or Alzheimer’s Diagnosis


Estate planning with dementia or Alzheimer’s can come with a fair share of challenges. For instance, if you have dementia, you may be unable to make sound decisions about your finances or property. In some cases, you may forget you have certain assets altogether.

As such, start estate planning as soon as you notice early signs of dementia, and plan fast before the condition worsens. Discover tips to guide you through estate planning with dementia or Alzheimer’s.

Keep Track of Your Assets

Dementia or Alzheimer’s can escalate quickly, so compile a list of your assets as soon as possible. This step helps you track your finances and property and ensure that your loved ones can easily access this information when needed. Some essential assets to include in your list are:

Additionally, update your list regularly as you acquire new assets or get rid of old ones.

Choose the Right Power of Attorney

Incapacity is the major challenge when estate planning with dementia. As such, choose a power of attorney (POA) who will manage your financial affairs when you cannot do so yourself. The POA also dictates what kind of medical treatment you should receive if you cannot make those decisions yourself.

Choosing the right POA is essential to ensure that they will carry out your wishes and that your loved ones are well looked after when you are no longer in control. The right POA should be someone you can trust who understands your financial situation. Also, the POA should be capable of making the right choices.

You may choose two different people for your financial and medical POA. In some cases, you may also appoint a successor POA in case your original choice is unavailable or unable to fulfill their duties.

Make a Will

Your estate planning is not complete without a will. A will allows you to choose how you want your assets distributed after you die. The document also designates a guardian for any minor children and appoints an executor to fulfill your wishes.

Creating a will is critical if you have dementia or Alzheimer’s because the will allows you to make decisions about your estate while you can still do so.

Set Up a Trust

A trust dictates the management of your assets during your lifetime and after your death. You can use a trust to manage assets for your benefit or the benefit of your loved ones.

The two main types of trusts are revocable and irrevocable. As the name suggests, a revocable trust allows you to adjust the terms or revoke the trust entirely. On the other hand, an irrevocable trust does not allow you to change the terms.

Hire an Estate Planning Attorney

Estate planning is a complex process, but the process gets more manageable with the help of a real estate attorney. A real estate attorney may help you navigate the different options available and create a plan that meets your unique needs.

A reliable estate planning attorney will also help you navigate the probate process. Moreover, since the lawyer is unbiased, the attorney can help you objectively consider all your options and make the best choices for your estate.

Estate planning is critical regardless of your age or health. If you have dementia or Alzheimer’s, the above tips can help you with estate planning. However, you may need an expert to walk with you through this journey. At Harris Shelton, we are an expert estate planning firm with extensive experience that guarantee estate planning success. Therefore, contact us today for a consultation to start estate planning.