What are some questions to ask or think about when setting up a trust?Trusts are powerful tools with numerous uses and applications. The first question you need to answer when setting up a trust is ‘what is the purpose of this trust?’ Whether it is to protect assets, safeguard property for a minor, simplifying the estate planning process, or any other myriad reasons, asking what the trust is for will inform each decision you make regarding its formation. There are many questions which must be answered after the purpose has been established.
‘Which property should be transferred to the trust?’
‘Who should be the trustees?’
‘Who are the beneficiaries?’
‘How long should the trust last?’
These questions are just some of the more common questions that must be answered, no matter the purpose that is decided on.
Why is title review important?Title review is an essential step in the home buying process. Title review serves two main functions. First is to make sure the person you are buying the property from actually has the authority to transfer the property to you. The seller must be the actual owner of the property and they must have sole ownership, or at least being authorized to speak for any other co-owners. Second, it lets you know whether the property is encumbered by a lien, mortgage, or similar encumbrance. Title review is your safeguard to receiving a clear title.
What happens if I die without a will?If someone passes away without a will in place, their property enters the probate process and is distributed according to the state intestacy laws. What this means is that the Court will distribute property to people based only on their relationship to you. There may be no consideration of estrangement, or close bonds with people who are friends or further removed on the family tree. Generally speaking, only the people who have the closest relation to you (ie. spouse first, then children, parents, siblings, etc.) will receive assets out of your estate. Having a will allows you to elect any person, no matter the closeness of your legal relationship, to receive any portion of your estate that you desire.
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