A living Trust does not need to be overly complicated. Essentially, a Living Trust will convey the wishes of the creator/s that should be carried out by others, upon their passing.
1. Create a list of items you wish to list in the trust, your cars, houses, land, stocks and bonds, life insurance policies, heirlooms, and other special items.
2. Prepare all of the relevant paperwork for those items, like deeds, proof of ownership, photos, serial numbers, and such.
3. Knowing that property put into a trust should either be wholly owned or a joint trust created, make that decision.
4. Make an extensive list of beneficiaries, their contact and living information, emails and any other ways to reach those people. All too often Trusts are created without a way to reach the intended beneficiaries and an estate ends up in probate.
5. Choose a Trustee, a person to manage the distribution after your passing.
a. Consider this, a client designated one of his children to facilitate the Trust after his passing.
b. When it came time for distribution, the remaining beneficiaries looked to the distributor as
if she was to blame for the choices of the person who passed.
c. Animosity builds very quickly, especially if we intentionally pit siblings between eachother.
d. We should remember that after we pass, the remaining heirs associate specific items with
our memory and have been known to fight over very inconsequential things.
e. The moral of the story is that we should consider using an impartial party to distribute our
legacy, one that typically is not a beneficiary, and has nothing to gain or lose.
6. If you have minor children, it may be time to designate a person to care for that child, financially and medically.
a. You may also consider a Special Needs Trust, if you have any children with special needs.
b. If you have children with Special Needs, their inheritance may effect their Medical needs and awards.