How Can I Help My Parents Set Up a Living Trust?

How Can I Help My Parents Set Up a Living Trust?If your parents have reached an age where they need help with their finances, you may have already stepped in to help. If not, it’s important that you sit down with them and discuss their financial health. Find out if their assets have been managed appropriately, if they have adequate savings, or if they have a lot of debt. To ensure that your parents’ finances are protected and managed accordingly, they need a living trust.

What is a living trust?

A living trust is a legal document that dictates how to manage your parents’ assets and property and what will happen to them when your parents pass away. When your parents pass away or become incapacitated, the trustee will take over the management of their assets and property. Unlike wills, trusts remain private and do not have to go through probate, saving time and money.

Related article: What is the Probate Process if You Die Without a Will or Trust?

How can I help my parents set up a living trust?

The first step to setting up a living trust is to get organized. Start by making a list of all your parents’ assets and gathering all the necessary documents such as deeds, titles, stock certificates, life insurance policies, etc. Next, your parents will need to choose the beneficiaries to receive their assets upon their death. Beneficiaries could include family, friends, or charitable organizations.

Your parents will also need to choose a successor trustee. With a living trust, your parents will be their own trustees so they can continue to control their assets. When they die or become incapacitated, the successor trustee will step in to manage financial affairs, pay debts, and distribute assets accordingly. After you and your parents have cataloged their assets, gathered documents, and chosen beneficiaries and trustees, you’re ready to create the living trust document.

Related article: Family Pressures & Responsibilities When You Are the Trustee to Your Parent’s Trust

Do I need to hire an attorney to set up a living trust?

Many people choose to hire an estate planning attorney to prepare their living trust, but this isn’t a legal requirement. If you decide to create the living trust without professional assistance, make sure to sign the trust document before a notary public. Then, your parents’ assets will need to be transferred to the trust to fund it. While hiring an attorney is not legally necessary, it is recommended. Especially for complex estate plans.

Related article: What is Trust Accounting for a Trust?

How else can I help my elderly parents?

Whether you’ve got a full plate or you live out of state, if you can’t provide the financial management and eldercare that your parents need, consider hiring professional help.

Read more: How Can I Support My Elderly Parents From Another State?

Have Questions?

Marcia L. Campbell, CPA, an experienced CPA who specializes in seniors, provides a variety of eldercare management services. If you need help with your family’s finances, please don’t hesitate to contact us or call us at 951-686-3608.




11 Responses

  • Wow, I had no idea that you can hire an attorney to set up a trustee where the person can handle the assets of the deceased in place of them. One of my colleagues is looking for a way to give his assets to his children if ever something bad happens to him. I’ll go ahead and recommend that he consider hiring an attorney for this.

  • My dad has been thinking about putting together a living trust, so that we will know what goes to who when he passes away. He would really like to get some help from a professional in order to be more effective with the process. I’ll be sure to tell him about how they should pick a successor trustee that can step in to manage financial affairs in their place.

  • Thanks for the information on living trusts. I would like to find someone to help me with my finances. It would be great to get someone that could help me with trust management.

  • I appreciated it when you shared that it is important to start making a list of all your parents’ assets and collecting all the necessary documents. In this way, you can ensure that you are able to help them organize their assets. I would like to think if someone needs to help his parents’ making a living trust, he should consider hiring a reliable trust lawyer who can help with the process.

  • Looking for info and advice on setting up a trust for my mother (whose health is declining) and other siblings. Please help if you can. Thanks

  • I love how you said that a trust can stay private and never has to go through any kind of probate which saves funds and time in the long run. My mom has come to me, asking me to help her get started with a living trust. She has a nice home that she wants to leave to her children with no glitches or waiting periods after she passes. We will be calling an estate planning lawyer within the next few days.

  • I would like to hire a trust lawyer that will be able to help me out because my parents would like to create a trust fund for me and my siblings. Thank you for sharing the importance of opting for a experienced lawyer. Aside from this, you made a pretty good point that estate planning will prevent us from experiencing a probate case.

  • I want to make sure that my trust gets set up properly. It makes sense that I would want to get an attorney to help out with this. They would be able to handle this properly.

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