Estate planning in the 21st century typically involves much more than simply creating and executing a Last Will and Testament. For many people, a comprehensive estate plan includes at least one trust agreement. If you have been considering the inclusion of a trust agreement in your overall state plan you likely have a number of questions regarding trusts, such as “ How long does it take to set up a trust? ” Because of the individual nature of a trust agreement, only an experienced Missouri estate planning attorney can give you specific advice regarding your proposed trust agreement; however, some basic information about trusts and how a trust is created may provide you with a general answer to that question.
A trust is a legal arrangement that allows you (the Trustor) to appoint someone (the Trustee) to manage and protect assets for a third party (the Beneficiary). Whether you realize it or not, you have likely created hundreds of trust agreement during the course of your lifetime. For example, if you ask your neighbor to hold onto your house key until your daughter comes by to pick it up, you created a basic trust agreement wherein your neighbor is the Trustee and your daughter the Beneficiary.
A trust agreement can be as simple, or as complex, as you need it to be. The length of time it takes to set up a trust will depend, to a great extent, on the complexity of the trust terms you choose to create and the type of assets you choose to use to fund the trust. For example, if you are planning to use cash to fund your trust it will be relatively simple to transfer those assets into the trust once the actual trust agreement has been drafted. On the other hand, if you plan to use real property to fund the trust it will take longer to facilitate the transfer of those assets into the trust.
By the same token, if your trust agreement is being used as a mechanism by which you plan to stagger an inheritance to a child, the terms of the trust agreement will likely be fairly easy to create. On the other hand, if you are planning to create a more complicated trust, such as a Grantor Retained Annuity Trust (GRAT) or a charitable remainder trust, the terms of the trust agreement can become rather complex, taking longer to create.
If you have additional questions or concerns about trust agreements or trust administration, contact the experienced Missouri estate planning attorneys at Amen, Gantner & Capriano, Your Estate Matters, LLC by calling (314) 966-8077 to schedule an appointment.