Alabama Trust Attorneys
The Basics of Trusts in Alabama
A trust is a legal entity formed by a person, called the "settlor". The settlor places property (called the "corpus") in the trust, to be held by a trustee. The trustee must manage and distribute the property in accordance with the terms of the trust, for the benefit of the person designated as the trust's "beneficiary."
The Advantage of Trusts
The great strength of trusts is their flexibility; they can be drafted to suit almost any wishes. Trusts are used for many purposes. A person might draft a trust to gain tax advantages, shield property from liability, ensure that their assets are well-managed for their loved ones, or to avoid the process of probate.
Trusts to Avoid Probate in Alabama
A traditional will must be probated when the testator dies, and probate in Alabama is often frustrating and expensive. There are several strategies that can help relieve one's family from having to go through the probate process, including re-titling property in special ownership interests and investing in life insurance. For many, however, the best option is a Nonprobate or "Living" Trust.
In a living trust, a person executes a trust document, then transfers title of their property to the trust. Often that person serves as the trustee and the primary beneficiary, meaning that they effectively retain full control of their property. The trust is drafted so that when that person dies, the property is distributed to the person's devisees. All of this happens without the need for probate.
Another advantage of living trusts is that they are private. When wills are probated, they become part of the public record, accessible by anyone. As trusts don't need to be probated, they never become public.
Because of their great advantages, trusts have long been used by the wealthy as an estate planning tool. Our mission is to bring the same top-quality estate planning services to our community at an affordable cost. If you'd like more information about trusts, you can fill out our Estate Planning Questionnaire, or call to set up a free consultation. We look forward to hearing from you.