Living Trust Tips For Older Americans

If you are a senior citizen and want to set up a living trust to protect and manage your assets for your family as you age, then these tips will help you do just that.

Tip: Give Out Your Asset and Financial Information Only to an Attorney

Unfortunately, there are many individuals and companies out there who are looking to scam older Americans out of their hard-earned income and assets. If you contact someone from a piece of mail you received or an advertisement you saw online, be very careful about giving out any information about your assets and bank accounts. While there are legitimate companies out there who can create and manage your living trust, it's always better to work with a local lawyer with experience in this area. 

Tip: Designate Beneficiaries for Your Living Trust Carefully

When you set up your living trust, you will be the person in charge of the assets and bank accounts it contains. Upon your death, one of your listed beneficiaries will manage the trust in accordance with the parameters you have used to set it up. For this reason, it is important you carefully consider who you want the beneficiaries to be. And, since accidents and health emergencies can happen any day to anyone, choose someone you are happy with and don't plan to change at a future date.

Tip: Include a Copy of Your Advanced Directive with Your Living Trust's Paperwork

If you do not have one already, you need to set up an advanced directive and include a copy of it with your living trust's paperwork. An advanced directive is a legal document that lays out exactly what your wishes are for end-of-life care and how you want your last days of healthcare to be handled.

Tip: Have an Experienced Estate Planning Attorney Set Up and Register Your Living Trust

Finally, while you are able to set up a living trust and register it yourself at the local courthouse, this is not always a straightforward process and thus, not advisable. Additionally, you will need to move your assets into the trust, and this often requires special forms and procedures not easily obtained without an attorney. To give you peace of mind that your living trust is correctly set up and working to protect your hard-earned assets, make sure you work with an experienced estate planning attorney and take advantage of their knowledge. 

For more information, contact a company like Rudolph and Chonoles LLP.