The Eugene attorneys of Arnold Law can assist clients in the creation of living trusts, a place where ownership of assets can go and be changed during your lifetime, typically with certain probate-avoidance goals. Oregon trust law does not have to be difficult to understand. At Arnold Law, our goal is to educate you of the options based on your finances and based on your personal goals, so that you can make an informed decision.
Living Revocable Trust vs. Will
Trusts are not for everyone and the costs of preparing complicated Oregon trusts can sometimes be greater than the costs of probating a small estate in Oregon probate court.
There are certainly a lot of things to consider when making the decisions regarding trusts vs. wills. There has been a lot of media coverage of the advantages of a trust, many of which are true; but they are not the solution for everyone. That is why we advise clients of their options in a cost-benefit analysis methodology. At Arnold Law, we want our clients to know the true costs of an estate plan which include the attorney fees, probate, conservator costs if incapacitated, asset transfer costs if using a trust, etc. These costs need to be compared with a will costs plus probate.
If you have assets (real property) in multiple states, a living trust could avoid the risks of multiple probate proceedings. This is often useful for our California clients who have retired in Oregon and whose children are grown.
Living Will vs. Living Trust
And remember, a living a trust is NOT a living will. A living will is essentially a document that directs health care decisions if you are incapacitated, while a living trust deals with your property after death (and allows you to keep control of your property while you are living).
Transferring Ownership to the Trust
After deciding on a living trust over a will, you have to decide how to fund it, i.e., what property to transfer to the the trust. The most common property to transfer to a trust is real property. TITLE TRANSFER MUST BE DONE BEFORE DEATH TO AVOID PROBATE. If you do not transfer actual title, then when you die, probate will need to be used to effectuate the change of title. This typically defeats the purpose of the trust documents. You end up with the worst of both worlds: an expensive trust document and the expense of probate.
Irrevocable Trusts vs. Living/Revocable Trusts
The difference between a living trust and an irrevocable trust is that the latter cannot be changed after the trust document has been signed. You can use these irrevocable trusts in concert with living trusts. For instance, you can have control over the assets during your lifetime in a revocable, living trust but then have them convert into several separate irrevocable trusts after your death. This can be designed to control assets held by children.
Estate Tax Protection
There are also tax avoidance reasons for an irrevocable trust. Since the trust is irrevocable, you no longer own the property once you transfer the property ownership into the trust. Therefore, there is less estate to tax upon your death. There are lots of other options and factors that you can research online and then discuss with Arnold Law attorneys to hash out the Oregon trust law and document particularities.
Oregon Trust Attorneys
At Arnold Law, our attorneys can assist you in a new estate plan and help you decide if a living trust or irrevocable trust is right for you.
We can assist our Oregon trust law clients with a sensible approach to your estate plan. Call 541-338-9111 to discuss options and to inquire about estate planning services, or use the form to the left to send an email.
Arnold Law represents clients along the Oregon Coast and throughout Western Oregon, including in Portland, Eugene, Springfield, Salem, Corvallis, Cottage Grove, Albany, Newport, Oregon City, Beaverton, Clackamas, Wilsonville, Tigard, Hillsboro, Lake Oswego, Coburg, Creswell, Florence, Junction City, Lowell, Veneta, Oakridge, Roseburg, Brownsville, Halsey, Harrisburg Klamath Falls, Medford, Ashland, Grants Pass, Glendale, and Bend, and in the following counties: Lane County, Multnomah County, Washington County, Clackamas County, Linn County, Douglas County, Marion County, Coos County, Lincoln County, Benton County, Deschutes County, Josephine County, Klamath County, and Jackson County.