A living trust is an excellent for many individuals interested in preserving their accumulated property, depending on their particular needs and what they desire to accomplish with their resources. Like any trust or estate plan, careless planning and execution can lead to difficulties in administration of a trust or unnecessary expenses down the road.
A trust is essentially the conveyance of property. Therefore, any trust, living or otherwise, that is proposed cannot be established until the property that the trust is intended to protect is actually conveyed. This conveyance of property is described as “funding the trust”. Sometimes a trust is proposed, but the creator of the trust fails to deliver appropriate funds or property to the trust. While a trust is generally able to survive, provided that property of some kind is delivered, a trust creator who does not fund a trust adequately will end up simply wasting unnecessary time and money without providing any lasting protection to his or her assets.
Similarly, sometimes a trust creator will use vague language that only implies wishes for certain property, but does not clearly instruct how to maintain, hold or use the property in any specific way. This is known as “precatory language”. While there may be precatory language in the creation documents of a trust, for a trust to be effectively established, it is necessary to include some language which defines a legally binding obligation that may be enforced. Using vague terms which may be interpreted contrary to the wishes of the trust creator may keep the trust from effectively holding the property it is intended to hold and protect.
There are many potential pitfalls that one may encounter while creating a living trust. A competent, qualified legal professional with experience in living trust creation can not only help you avoid these pitfalls, but also ensure that your living trust is set up to protect and provide for the ones you love exactly as you intend.
Source: legalzoom.com, “Top Five Mistakes to Avoid Writing a Living Trust,” Corie Lynn Rosen, accessed July 08, 2016