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Houston and Dallas Trust Attorneys

Secure your future with a trust designed to safeguard your assets and ensure your loved ones’ well-being.

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Establish Your Legacy and Final Wishes With a Trust

Did you know that without a trust, your loved ones could face legal battles and unnecessary stress during an already difficult time? At Rodgers Selvera, we make trust planning accessible with strategies that fit your situation. Whether you’re an artist, entertainer, or someone simply in need of a solid trust attorney that you can trust, our team is eager to assist.

What Is a Trust?

A trust is a fiduciary arrangement that allows a third party, or trustee, to hold assets on behalf of a beneficiary. The grantor is the person who creates the trust, the trustee is appointed to manage the trust, and the beneficiary is the person who receives the benefits from the trust. Trusts can be arranged in many ways and stipulate how and when assets pass to beneficiaries.

If the legalese sounds a bit confusing, you can think of a trust as a means to ensure that your assets are protected and passed on according to your wishes in an efficient and controlled manner. For example, if you want assets to pass to beneficiaries as various milestones in life are reached, a trust can make it happen.

Additionally, trusts also offer a level of efficiency in that they provide a way to manage your estate and provide for your loved ones, potentially avoiding the public and lengthy process of probate. They can offer a clearer, more direct path for asset distribution, often with added benefits like tax savings or maintaining privacy. 

The creation and management of a trust involve significant responsibilities for all parties involved. The grantor decides how the trust will operate, the trustee takes on the role of managing the trust in accordance with the instructions, and the beneficiaries are the ultimate recipients of the trust’s assets.

Types of Trusts

When navigating the complexities of estate planning, choosing the right type of trust is a major component to achieving your specific objectives. Whether you’re looking to maintain control over your assets during your lifetime, provide for a family member with special needs, or ensure your pets are cared for after your passing, there’s a trust designed to meet those goals.

Living Trusts

Established during the grantor’s lifetime, they can be revocable or irrevocable. They are beneficial for avoiding probate and allow for the immediate transfer of assets upon death. A living trust lawyer like Rodgers Selvera PLLC can help with all your living trust planning needs.

Revocable Trusts

These trusts can be altered or revoked by the grantor during their lifetime. These are beneficial for individuals who want flexibility in their estate plan, a revocable trust allows for asset management and distribution changes as life circumstances evolve.

Irrevocable Trusts

Once established, these cannot be modified without the beneficiary’s consent. They’re used for asset protection and tax benefits, ideal for individuals looking to reduce estate taxes or protect assets from creditors.

Testamentary Trusts

Created as part of a will, these trusts come into effect after the grantor’s death. They’re useful for managing inheritances on behalf of minors or managing assets over a longer period, ensuring beneficiaries receive their inheritance at the right time or circumstance.

Special Needs Trusts

Designed to benefit individuals with disabilities without jeopardizing their eligibility for governmental assistance. This trust type ensures that loved ones with special needs are provided for without losing essential benefits.

Charitable Trusts

Established to benefit charitable organizations. They can offer tax benefits to the grantor while supporting philanthropic goals, suitable for those who wish to leave a legacy that reflects their charitable values.

Other Specialized Trusts

  • Pet Trusts: Ensures that pets are cared for, providing funds for their care to a designated caregiver, reflecting the grantor’s love and commitment to their pets’ well-being.
  • Crummey Trusts: Allow for annual tax-free gifts to the trust, maintaining eligibility for gift tax exclusions while benefiting the trust.

How Trusts Work

In essence, ​​trusts function as legal arrangements where a grantor entrusts assets to a trustee for the benefit of designated beneficiaries. The trustee manages and controls these assets according to the grantor’s instructions laid out in the trust agreement, ensuring the assets are protected and distributed as intended, either during the grantor’s lifetime or after their passing.

Asset Management and Distribution Control

A trust document describes who should receive your assets and when. Whether it’s immediately after your passing, when a beneficiary reaches a certain age, or even spread out over time, you have the control. This means your assets are managed and distributed exactly as you wish, providing support and care to your beneficiaries according to your plan.

Avoiding Probate and Ensuring Privacy

Normally, assets have to pass through probate, a public and often lengthy court process, to reach your heirs. However, assets in a trust skip this step entirely. It’s like having a VIP pass at a concert, allowing your assets to go directly to your beneficiaries without waiting in line. This not only speeds up the process but also keeps it private, as probate records are public.

Tax Advantages and Asset Protection

Trusts can shield your assets from excessive taxes, creditors, and even irresponsible spending by beneficiaries. By placing assets into certain types of trusts, you can minimize estate taxes, ensuring more of your legacy goes to your loved ones. Trusts also protect your assets from potential creditors of both you and your beneficiaries, safeguarding your family’s inheritance.

What Are the Requirements for Setting Up A Trust?

Navigating the trust setup process requires understanding specific legal requirements and making informed decisions that align with your estate planning goals. At Rodgers Selvera PLLC, we’re dedicated to guiding you through every step, ensuring your trust reflects your intentions and benefits your loved ones as you intend.

Identify the Participants

Before drafting any documents, decide who will play the key roles. As the grantor, you’re the architect, determining the trust structure and beneficiaries. Choose a trustee to manage the trust per your instructions, and identify beneficiaries who will benefit from the trust’s assets.

Choose Your Trust Type

There are various types of trusts so this is where an experienced trust attorney can help you choose the trust most appropriate and beneficial for your situation. Whether it’s a revocable trust that you can tweak or an irrevocable trust that’s set in stone, this sets the stage.

Create Proper Documentation

Creating a legally binding trust document involves consulting with a trust attorney to ensure your trust complies with state laws and truly reflects your wishes. This document formalizes your instructions and is essential for the trust to be recognized and enforceable.

Outline the Trust Instructions

Your trust document details the what, when, and how of asset distribution. This might include instructions for a child’s education fund, support for a lifelong partner, or donations to a charity close to your heart.

Sign and Notarize the Document

The final step is to sign your trust document in the presence of a notary public who will notarize the document. This formalizes your intent, making the trust official and operational.

Fund the Trust

The next step in the process is to actually begin transferring your assets into the trust—be it your home, savings accounts, or family heirlooms. This officially places those assets under the trust’s protection and control.

What Are the Benefits of Establishing a Trust?

Establishing a trust is akin to creating a master plan for your estate and one of the most impactful proactive steps toward securing your financial legacy, offering a structured, efficient, and protective way to ensure your assets benefit your loved ones according to your wishes. Safeguard not just your wealth but the well-being and future of those you care about.

Control Over Asset Distribution

A trust allows you to dictate the who, what, when, and how of asset distribution with precision. You can earmark funds for specific purposes, like education or healthcare, and set milestones for beneficiaries to meet before they inherit. This ensures your assets are used exactly as you envision, whether you’re looking to support a loved one’s journey or leave a lasting legacy.

Protection for Minors and Special Needs Beneficiaries

Trusts can offer a safeguard for beneficiaries who might need additional care or guidance. For minors, a trust can secure the assets until they reach an age where they can manage the inheritance responsibly. For special needs beneficiaries, a trust can provide for their care and well-being without jeopardizing their eligibility for vital government assistance programs.

Avoidance of Probate and Preservation of Privacy

Assets placed in a trust bypass the probate process, meaning they can be transferred to your beneficiaries without court involvement. This not only expedites the distribution process but also keeps it private, as probate proceedings are a matter of public record. A trust ensures your estate matters remain confidential, shared only among those you choose.

Potential Tax Benefits and Creditor Protection

Certain types of trusts can offer tax advantages, potentially reducing the estate tax burden on your beneficiaries. Additionally, trusts can protect the assets from creditors, lawsuits, and other financial risks, ensuring that your wealth is preserved for its intended purpose – supporting your beneficiaries.

Flexibility and Peace of Mind

Trusts are not one-size-fits-all; they can be customized to suit your unique situation and goals. Whether you’re looking to manage your assets during your lifetime, plan for incapacity, or ensure a smooth transition of your estate after your passing, a trust provides the flexibility to adapt to your needs and circumstances.

Uninterrupted Management and Continuity

Something that few of us want to think about but all of us should be prepared for is a situation in which you become unable to manage your affairs. A trustee can seamlessly continue to manage and distribute your assets according to the trust’s instructions, ensuring that your estate (and potentially you) is cared for without interruption.

The Trust Planning Process at Rodgers Selvera PLLC

The trust planning process with our office is a personalized journey. We pride ourselves on creating lasting relationships where your peace of mind and estate’s integrity are our top priority. Expect a partnership that respects your wishes, protects your legacy, and ensures the future you envision is securely in place. The following is an overview of our process.

Initial Consultation to Understand Your Goals

The journey begins with a deep dive into your personal and financial landscape. During this initial consultation, our goal is to listen and truly understand your objectives for your assets, your family, and any special considerations your situation may present. This is the foundation upon which a robust trust plan is built, ensuring we capture all your wishes accurately.

Creating the Right Trust Planning Strategy

With a thorough understanding of your goals in hand, we move on to crafting a customized trust strategy and selecting the right type of trust. Whether you’re looking to protect your assets, provide for loved ones, minimize taxes, or a combination, our team leverages their expertise to develop a plan that meets your current needs and anticipates future changes.

Drafting and Finalizing Trust Documents

Next, we turn strategy into action. Our attorneys meticulously draft the trust documents, detailing every aspect of how your trust will operate, from the designation of trustees and beneficiaries to the specific conditions under which assets are distributed. Once everything is in place, we finalize the documents, making your trust officially established.

Ongoing Support and Trust Administration

Life can change. Marriages, births, acquisitions, and losses can all necessitate updates to your estate plan. We’re here to provide guidance, make adjustments, and ensure your trust continues to serve its intended purpose. Additionally, we can assist trustees in understanding their roles, obligations, and the practical aspects of trust administration.

Why Choose Rodgers Selvera PLLC Trust Attorneys In Houston?

In choosing our firm, you’re not just selecting attorneys—you’re getting partners committed to your legacy’s protection and prosperity. Our experience, personalized care, and educational approach positions are ideal for anyone looking to navigate the complexities of trust planning with confidence and clarity. Learn why we’re the trust attorney Houston and Dallas prefers.

  • Experienced Trust Attorneys in Houston and Dallas
  • Personalized and Client-Focused Approach
  • Commitment to Your Estate Planning Goals
  • Education and Empowerment Throughout the Process


Frequently Asked Questions About Trust Planning

1. What makes a trust valid in Texas?

In Texas, a trust must have a clear purpose, a designated trustee, identifiable beneficiaries, and the grantor must properly convey assets into the trust. The trust agreement must be in writing, and certain types of trusts require notarization.

2. How much does it cost to set up a trust in Texas?

The cost varies depending on the complexity of the trust, the assets involved, and attorney fees. A basic trust may start around a thousand dollars, with more intricate arrangements costing more. It’s best to discuss your specific needs with an attorney for an accurate estimate.

3. Who can be a trustee in Texas?

Almost any competent adult or legal entity can serve as a trustee in Texas, including individuals, banks, or trust companies. The chosen trustee should be trustworthy, capable of managing the trust’s assets, and willing to act in the beneficiaries’ best interests.

4. How does a trust avoid probate in Texas?

A trust avoids probate because the assets within it are legally controlled by the trust, not the deceased individual. Upon death, the trust’s assets can be distributed directly to the beneficiaries according to the terms of the trust, bypassing the probate process.

5. Are trusts public record in Texas?

No, one of the advantages of a trust is privacy. Unlike wills, which become public record through the probate process, trusts do not generally need to be filed with the court and remain private documents.

6. How do I fund a trust in Texas?

Funding a trust involves transferring ownership of your assets—such as real estate, bank accounts, and investments—into the trust. This process can vary by asset type and may require deeds, title changes, or other official documents.

7. What happens if a trustee breaches their fiduciary duty in Texas?

If a trustee breaches their fiduciary duty, beneficiaries can seek legal recourse, including the trustee’s removal, compensation for losses incurred due to the breach, and, in some cases, punitive damages.


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