Can I Make a Living Trust on My Own?

Woman and man discussing their estate planning options

Do-it-yourself trends are on the rise. From making your own food to household items, there is a sense of satisfaction when you know you’ve completed a project that benefits you and others. When it comes to estate planning, while you can do this on your own, your heirs could face complications down the road.

Like other parts of an estate plan, you can create a living trust on your own. However, there are several cautions an individual or couple should take before going through this process.

Creating a Living Trust

Every estate plan looks different — some only include a will, a trust, or additional information. There is no right way to create an estate plan.

If your estate plan includes a trust, determining your trustee and beneficiaries is one of the first steps to take. A trustee is an individual who distributes the assets of the trust while a beneficiary is someone who is a recipient of an asset. As part of the trustee’s responsibilities, they are legally obligated to abide by the wishes laid out in the trust.

Once a trust is prepared, it must be properly signed. That usually involves a notary proving that the creator and anyone else signing the document is of sane sound and mind. Finally, any assets listed in the trust must be transferred to the trustee or other establishments listed in the trust.

Do I Need a Lawyer to Create a Living Trust?

Not necessarily, as previously explained, but is it best to put faith into a legally binding document that puts your assets at risk? It is best to consult an experienced estate planning attorney when creating any future planning. This is especially true if you have:

  • A significant amount of debt;
  • Are unaware of the value of your assets;
  • You are unsure who to name as a trustee;
  • You want to put conditions on your gifts; and,
  • You will most likely owe estate taxes.

No matter where you are in the estate planning process, consulting an estate planning attorney is always beneficial to ensure you are lawfully abiding by any rules.

The team at Jerimy Kirschner & Associates, PLLC is here for you with any questions you may have about your estate plan. Whether you are looking for guidance with creating your own estate plan or want our experienced team to create a customized plan for you, our services are only a click or call away. Contact us online or by phone to see how we can help you. (206) 203-8802

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