Elder Law Attorney for Rhode Island, Eastern Connecticut and Southeastern Massachusetts
Defining a Will
A Will is a document that sets forth your wishes about how your assets are to be distributed after your death. It is called your Last Will and Testament. Assets are to be distributed after your death in a probate court proceeding.
It must conform to all requirements of the law. It must be executed with all the formality required by law. The requirements of law in each state are different.
It is important that you have a competent lawyer prepare your Last Will and Testament. It is one document that cannot be changed once it becomes effective, i.e. after your death. It is extremely important that it is done correctly.
Wills are not preferred ways to pass on property to loved ones because the process of probating a will is time-consuming and expensive. Trusts and Direct Distribution Plans are better alternatives. At Connelly Law, we can help design a plan that works for you and your loved ones.
Defining a Trust
A trust is a legal entity in which a person called a “Trustee” holds title to property for the benefit of someone called a “beneficiary.”
The person who creates a trust is usually called the “Settlor” or “Grantor” in the trust document. So if you would like a trust created for you, you will be known in the document as the Settlor or Grantor.
The “Trustee” is the person that holds legal title to the property in the trust. In some trusts, like a revocable trust or living trust, the Settlor is also the “Trustee.” This means that the person for whom the trust is created maintains control of his or her assets as Trustee.
Every trust must be for the benefit of someone. The person or persons who benefit from the trust are called the “beneficiary” or “beneficiaries.” So you might be the beneficiary of your own trust. Your children, grandchildren, spouse, friend or church may be beneficiaries during your life or after your death.
You do not need to be a millionaire to have a trust. Any person with someone to protect, like minor children, elderly relatives or disabled beneficiaries, can make very good use of a trust.
As a legal entity, a trust must follow the laws of the jurisdiction in which it is created. Each state has different laws that govern trusts. Some trusts can even act as a will substitute on the death of its creator. So you see, there are many types of trusts and each serves a purpose.
Trusts are complex documents, with specific uses and tax implications. They should be prepared by competent attorneys. They can be very helpful in many ways. But they must be done right to be effective.
The elder law attorney and the staff at Connelly Law Offices have nearly four decades of experience in preparing these documents.
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This website includes general information about legal issues, issues affecting seniors and developments in the law. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and must not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You need to contact a lawyer licensed in your jurisdiction for advice on specific legal issues and/or problems.