Washington DC Trusts Lawyer

Trusts can accomplish several different goals, and those who establish trusts may enjoy benefits during their lifetime in addition to creating plans for the distribution of property after death. However, trusts can be complicated to establish correctly and manage in compliance with DC law.

A Washington DC trusts lawyer could assist in the creation of trusts as well as with the amendment or administration of existing trusts. There are many options available, but it is important to understand the obligations involved before creating a trust. Working with an experienced trusts and estates lawyer could help you understand these obligations as well as prevent costly mistakes.

Common Misunderstandings About Trusts

Many people believe a trust is similar to a bank account. In actuality, a trust is an intangible entity. When an individual creates a trust, they allow a trustee to control property for the benefit of another person or people known as beneficiaries. Often individuals do not understand that a trustee has legal obligations to act for the good of beneficiaries and may be held liable for failure to meet those obligations.

The trust holds legal ownership of the property, but the trustee undertakes investment or management of the property. The person creating the trust is often called the grantor. In some cases, such as with an inter vivos or “living trust,” the grantor, trustee, and beneficiary may all be the same person. Usually, a trust also includes alternate beneficiaries who will step into the role if the original beneficiary passes away.

Reasons to Create a Trust in Washington DC

Trusts can be used to achieve many goals. For example, an individual may create a trust to:

  • Avoid probate
  • Provide for minor children
  • Support charitable causes
  • Reduce estate taxes
  • Manage assets through several generations
  • Protect against creditors

Trusts can be aimed to accomplish very specific purposes. For instance, someone could set up a special needs trust to provide assistance to a family member with special needs without compromising that family member’s eligibility for government programs.

Assistance with Trust Administration

Trustees have certain fiduciary obligations to the beneficiaries of a trust, including handling tax filings. In addition, they are required to manage assets properly and take advantage of available opportunities. Failure to fulfill obligations can lead to personal liability.

Managing a trust can be challenging, so trustees often find it helpful to work with a knowledgeable Washington DC trusts lawyer. An experienced lawyer could help devise a management plan and take on duties delegated by the trustee.

Consult with a Washington DC Trusts Attorney Today

Trusts can be complex, especially if you do not have experience working with them. Not everyone understands the operation of, and legal requirements associated with trusts in DC. If you have questions about establishing a trust or about the management of an existing trust, it is a good idea to talk to a Washington DC trusts attorney. A skilled attorney can work with you to help you meet your goals. Call now to get started with a free consultation.