A living trust and will help you make changes to your final will whenever your circumstances or wishes alter. However, the decisions you make in both of these documents aren’t legally binding unless you die. As a result, it is important to seek legal advice from an Oregon estate planning attorney if you have questions about how the laws apply to your situation. Here’s what an estate planning attorney in Bend Oregon can do for you.
A will allow you to establish another person’s ownership interest in your property without making a will. You can use a living trust to create a ” successors ” in the event of your disability or death. Wills are considered “last-known” decedents’ property in estate planning.
Just as with wills, the person creating the trust is called the administrator. The purpose of the living trust is to designate an individual or persons as administrators to manage your decedent’s estate. The administrator does not have all the same powers as a will, including the power to forgive debts. If your finances have changed since your last Will, you’ll want to talk to an Oregon estate planning attorney who can help you decide if a change in your administrators qualifies as a change in designating beneficiaries.
Many people aren’t aware that Oregon allows anyone to amend their living trusts. Even if you had a will, it might be possible to add beneficiaries and change other aspects, such as how your property is to be transferred, how you’re named guardian or trustee, and more. Again, an estate planning attorney in Bend Oregon can help you understand the mechanics of adding new beneficiaries and other changes to your final wishes. He or she will also be able to explain why a living trust might be appropriate for your situation.
If you’re already deceased but have living trusts in place, it doesn’t mean that your beneficiaries can’t try to claim the property or assets from you. They may still be denied because of a revocable living trust. The problem is that a revocable living trust can be changed by a court order to meet certain guidelines. Unless you’ve been very careful about whom you name as beneficiaries and why they’re named (some people choose to simply change their last names to evade having to deal with probate), revocability could make your estate plan null and void.
Keep in mind, too, that the probate process could drag on for many months or even years after someone dies. While waiting for the probate process to play itself out, your beneficiaries could be exposed to a great deal of stress, which can have a detrimental effect on their health and emotions. Be sure to talk with an Oregon estate planning attorney if you’d like some more information about the probate process and living trust. He can help guide you through it and provide sound advice. You can get good free estate planning advice in Portland, Oregon’s state capital.