Trusts FAQ

Southfield, Birmingham & Bloomfield Hills, MI Trusts FAQs

The law office of Dean E. Patrick, PLLC are available at any time to answer your trust and estate planning questions. From our experience, we hope that we can help answer your basic concerns with some of the most commonly asked questions that we receive. For a more individualized perspective, call to set up an appointment with Dean Patrick.

Q: Should I make a living trust?
A: There are several factors to consider when deciding whether to make a living trust. A living trust can reduce or eliminate the estate tax burden for your beneficiaries. It can also keep your estate out of the probate court, which would make your estate and the proceedings public. For privacy purposes, a living trust establishes the closed-door policy and allows your family affairs to be handled internally.

Q: Does a trust avoid probate?
A: If your trust is properly established and maintained, it will avoid the probate court.

Q: Do I give up control of my assets with a revocable trust?
A: Not if you do not want to. The trustee of the revocable trust controls the assets. In most cases, you can nominate yourself as the trustee of the revocable trust as long as you are able.

Q: Are my assets protected from creditors if they are titled in the name of a revocable trust?
A: Unfortunately, not at this time. Since you are the trustee of the revocable trust, that would name you as the holder, and thus your creditors can get at those assets.

Q: Do I need a last will if I establish a Trust?
A: Yes; a proper estate plan will include a will to guide assets to your trust if you failed to transfer them during your lifetime.

Q: Can a trust help me reduce or eliminate estate tax?
A: There are a variety of trust structures that are available to reduce or eliminate estate tax burdens.

Q: Who should be the trustee of my Trust?
A: At the creation of a trust, typically you should be the original trustee. Your successor can be an individual or a group who are trustworthy and fiscally responsible.

Q: Is my trust made public after I pass away?
A: Trust structures are only made public if they are contested or if the creators so desire. Note that the last will becomes a matter of public records through the probate court.

Q: Do I have to change the information on my checks if my account is in a trust?
A: Typically, you wouldn’t have to change the information on your checks. However, some institutions require you have checks issued in the name of your trust.

Q: Can a trust be contested in court?
A: Trusts have the potential to be contested in court. However, it can be avoided with what is called a terror clause.

For elaboration or additional questions, contact Michigan trust attorney Dean Patrick today for a free consultation.