If you’re like most people in Texas, your home and other real estate make up a significant portion of your total assets. You have invested a lifetime of hard work and savings into your property. So what will happen to it when you’re gone?
For many, the best way to ensure their real estate passes on as they wish is using a trust. Trusts provide you control over your assets while avoiding potentially lengthy and costly probate court proceedings after your death.
At Your Legacy Legal Care, we have helped hundreds of Texas families set up trusts tailored to their unique needs and assets. In this article, we’ll explore the key benefits our clients have experienced from putting their property into a trust.
In Texas, the main types of real property assets that can be transferred into a trust include:
All forms of real property in Texas can be conveyed to a trust for administration during your life and future distribution to beneficiaries.
Placing your real estate into a customized trust provides numerous benefits for Texas property owners. Below, we will explore the key perks of titling your property in a trust:
The top reason Texas homeowners put their property into trusts is to avoid probate. The court-supervised probate process can sometimes take over a year in Texas. All assets in the deceased person’s name must pass through probate before being distributed.
With a trust, your property transfers immediately to beneficiaries without probate. This saves significant time, legal fees, and court costs associated with probate.
Texas allows independent probate administration, but even this streamlined process takes a minimum of 6 months and has court filing requirements. A properly structured trust lets you transfer real estate faster and without the hassle and cost of probate.
Probate records are public in Texas, meaning anyone can find out the details of the estate’s assets, debts, and distributions. Trusts maintain complete privacy over your property and estate plans.
The terms of your trust stay private. Only your chosen beneficiaries and the trustee need to know the details. Keeping sensitive information secret can help avoid family disputes over inheritances.
This can be important for beneficiaries in high-liability professions like medicine. Trusts can also help insulate property from divorcing spouses, lawsuits, and other claims.
Unfortunately, many adults eventually become incapacitated by illness or declining mental capacity before death. Trusts include legally binding instructions for how your property should be managed if you become incapacitated or unable to make decisions.
This avoids the need for a court-appointed conservatorship over your assets. Your hand-selected trustee will step in to manage the trust according to your wishes in the event of incapacity.
Heirs sometimes challenge wills in Texas probate court, especially when they feel treated unfairly. However, property transferred via a trust is not part of the probate estate.
This makes it virtually impossible for disgruntled relatives to contest your wishes or try to claim a portion of trust assets. Trusts help avoid bitter family fights over the estate.
Wills become locked at the time of death, but trusts can be updated. You can amend the trust terms anytime if your relationships, financial situation, or intentions change.
This flexibility allows you to modify your plans when needed rather than being stuck with an outdated will.
Now that you know the many potential benefits of placing property into a trust, you may wonder how complicated the process is. We are here to tell you that it’s actually quite straightforward.
Here is an overview of the simple steps:
We strive to make the process hassle-free from start to finish. Don’t hesitate to reach out if we can answer any questions or provide a free trust consultation.
The main kinds of trusts that can hold real estate in Texas include:
The most common voluntary trusts for real estate are revocable trusts, irrevocable, testamentary, and bypass trusts. Your Legacy Legal Care can help you determine the best trust option for your specific circumstances and goals.
Ultimately, trusts give you total control over your real estate. Your trustee will carry out your instructions for managing and distributing trust assets after your lifetime.
Without a trust, your property would pass via default intestacy laws, which may differ from your intentions. A customized trust allows you to ensure your real estate is handled exactly as you want.
Trusts offer significant advantages for Texans who want to maximize control and privacy over their property while minimizing legal fees. Consult a Texas estate planning attorney to craft a personalized trust providing the benefits you seek.
property into a trust in Texas. You worked hard to acquire your home and other real estate. Now, let’s make sure it stays in the family. A trust allows you to pass them to heirs securely and privately after your lifetime.
The skilled attorneys at Your Legacy Legal Care have decades of combined experience setting up customized trusts to meet our clients’ unique needs. If you’d like to learn more about which type of trust is right for your situation or to seek assistance with trust administration, we offer complimentary initial consultations. Contact us today to schedule a call and implement your legacy plan. The time to prepare is now.
Kimberly Hegwood is the Managing Attorney of Your Legacy Legal Care, a Houston estate planning law firm. With more than 25 years of experience practicing law in Texas, she represents clients in a wide range of legal matters, including elder law, asset protection, estate planning, Medicaid crisis planning, probate, guardianship, and other estate planning practice areas.
Kimberly received her Juris Doctor from the South Texas College of Law and is a member of the State Bar of Texas.
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