Do I Need a Trust Attorney?
Updated: Sep 26, 2022
According to Wikipedia, The most important decisions you’ll ever have to make won’t go into effect until after your demise, which is why you draft trust documents. These trust documents outline who will receive your assets (such as your home) and valuables possessions after you pass away. Drafting trust documents is an exigent and possibly the most complicated process. It involves drafting legal documents, filing at your county recorder’s office, gathering information about your state’s probate laws, and deciding who the trustees would be.
But do you need a trust attorney?
Attorneys are expensive, and for a process that doesn't specifically require an attorney, should you bear that additional cost?
Just because you can do it on your own, should you do it yourself? The stakes are high.
Is there a less expensive way of getting professional help for trust planning?
By the end of this article, you'll get answers to all your trust planning questions.
What Does a Trust Attorney Do?
A trust attorney, also called an estate planner, prepares the required paperwork to set up a trust for your estate, which outlines who receives what and who will be responsible for carrying out your wishes. These documents are different from a will because it saves your family from the costly and cumbersome probate process. Plus, a trust is not listed in the public records, thereby keeping your assets private.
Some find the trust setup process expensive and consequently prefer to write and prepare documents on their own. This is often the case with small estates. However, documentation can sometimes become very complicated, and the need for professional guidance becomes imperative. In such situations, a trust attorney might present a better choice in dealing with complex documents and ensuring they cover all legal bases. A trust attorney helps with planning the financial aspect of your trust under your state’s laws.
How Do I Know If I Need a Trust Attorney?
Making sure your loved ones are taken care of when you are gone can be stressful. Hiring an attorney makes planning your estate less stressful, giving you peace of mind.
You’ll need the guidance of a trust attorney:
If you have doubts about writing up a trust on your own.
If you’re not fully aware of your state’s tax laws.
Additionally, you will need a trust attorney to ensure that your trust documents clearly explain your wishes to avoid complications or potential family disputes. Furthermore, working with a professional trust expert can help you gain more flexibility than a will while minimizing court costs.
How Much Does a Trust Attorney Cost?
For a trust attorney to draft or review your documents, you can expect to pay an hourly or flat fee. However, the overall cost depends on your goals and the complexity of your estate. Nonetheless, you’re looking at an average cost of $1500 to $5500 to hire an attorney to create the trust for you and handle all related legal matters.
Trust Attorney Alternative
Spending $1500 to $5500 on a trust attorney to prepare documents may not seem feasible for most, and rightly so, but in most cases, you don't have to spend that much. There are Legal Document Assistants, who are usually cheaper than trust attorneys and have all the legal qualifications to assist you in filling out your trust documents. Legal Document Assistant’s trust package can start from $595. Legal Document Assistants can be an attorney alternative. The only limitation being they cannot represent you in a court case or offer legal advice.
Nonetheless, legal document assistants are experts in assisting you pertaining to filling out your trust documents, and some might have their work reviewed by a lawyer. The biggest advantage you get with them is lower cost and potential quicker turnaround time for their services.
Legal Document Assistant
A legal document assistant is not a licensed attorney, but a professionally trained and licensed to assist in filling out legal documents for clients who are representing themselves in legal matters. Legal document assistants, also known as LDAs, do not create a client’s strategy for a court case.
However, LDAs are allowed to pass along general legal information if that information comes from an attorney. Additionally, they can file trust documents and other legal forms at the local recorder’s office.
Why should I Hire A Legal Document Assistant Instead Of A Trust Attorney?
Hiring an LDA would benefit you in the long term as opposed to retaining a trust attorney. An LDA goes through extensive training and professional development related to preparing legal documents. Plus, these professionals stay up to date with your state’s laws regarding estate planning. So, you never have to be concerned about the accuracy of your documents or the filing process. An LDA would have the legal knowledge and the managerial skills to effectively handle your situation.
Furthermore, attorneys often have an LDA or Paralegal on staff with their practice. Thus, a lawyer might refer you to their LDA or paralegal anyway, depending on the size of your estate.
Finally, hiring an LDA is much less expensive than paying a trust attorney. Therefore, if you are needing to plan your estate within tight budget constraints, you can work with an LDA who can promptly and accurately prepare your documents. Paying for a trust attorney can get expensive, and if your estate is small, or your family is aware of your wishes for your estate, then hiring a Legal Document Assistant offers the best option for you.
At Monday Morning Trust, our licensed and bonded professionals will give their full attention to assisting you with creating a customized estate plan. From the information-gathering session to delivery and notarization, you can gain peace of mind that the Legal Document Assistants of Monday Morning Trust will guide you through all aspects of the estate planning process.