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A trust can help to protect your wealth and deliver peace of mind that the right people will benefit from your legal arrangements. What's more, having the right trust in place can protect you from family disagreements as well as potential lawsuits and insolvency.
Read on to find out where to get free quotes for trust lawyers. Plus, the key services offered by these legal specialists.
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What does a trust lawyer do?
A trust lawyer is a type of legal professional who can advise on the setting up, and managing of, a trust. They can ensure any proceeds of your trust go to those who you've chosen – in other words, your beneficiaries.
Trust lawyers can also outline the rules (known as fiduciary duties) which the trustee(s) must follow to make sure your wishes are met during the managing of your assets (such as your property) after you pass away. You are even able to name a lawyer as your trustee, which can be helpful in some circumstances.
There are many types of trusts to consider, such as discretionary trusts (commonly used by families), fixed trusts, superannuation funds, special disability trusts and charitable trusts. Each type of trust is best suited to different circumstances. So, a trust lawyer can offer an effective method to help you settle on the right trust for your needs.
When might I use a trust lawyer?
Most commonly, you might enlist a trust lawyer to take you through the end-to-end process of setting up a trust. Other circumstances may include if you want to:
- Explore your tax options. Some people choose to set up trusts so that some of their assets no longer make up part of their estate. While a trust is not a separate legal entity, it may be treated as one when it comes to tax.
- Amend the distribution of your assets. You may want to do this when your chosen beneficiaries are young or if you have concerns about the decision-making of one or more beneficiaries.
- Lodge a legal challenge. You could need a lawyer to dispute the management of another person's trust who you are involved with.
When it comes to trusts, it's worth keeping in mind that after you place certain assets in a trust it may not be possible to take them out again. Once more, hiring the services of a legal professional like a trust lawyer can help you with any concerns you may have.
The key services offered by a trust lawyer
What does a trust lawyer include?
A trust lawyer can typically give you advice about:
- Which type of trust to set up
- Who you might choose as a trustee
- How to instruct a trustee with your wishes for managing the trust
- How to become a beneficiary of your own trust (note that this only possible for certain types of trust)
- How to minimise administrative costs
- How to protect beneficiaries from debt incurred by the trust.
What does a trust lawyer not include?
A trust lawyer may or may not be able to help you with the following:
- Detailed tax planning that's not linked to a trust
- Removing a trustee or beneficiary from an existing trust
- Changing the fiduciary duties of a trustee of an existing trust.
How effective is a trust lawyer?
Ultimately, a trust lawyer is only as effective as the trust that they advise you on setting up. For example, a discretionary trust is most used by families. The trust beneficiaries, often children, have no control over how much income they receive from the trust. Rather, it's the trustee's job to manage this process and so you'll want to get excellent advice on who to choose to do this on your behalf.
Do I have to use a trust lawyer?
A trust lawyer is not legally required to set up a trust. However, the setup process can be complicated. For many, seeking legal advice is a sure-fire way to help to avoid costly mistakes.
Trust lawyer vs tax lawyer
A trust lawyer can give you some level of tax advice relating to which type of trust will best suit your circumstances. However, tax law is a complex area. A trust lawyer won't necessarily dig deep into your finances before helping you set up a trust.
A tax lawyer may be better equipped with knowledge and experience to help you minimise your tax liabilities when setting up a trust. These lawyers often work with your existing accountants and financial advisors to fully understand your tax situation. They will then advise you on how best to structure your assets to minimise your tax liabilities.
Some people decide it's a good idea to consult both a trust lawyer and a tax lawyer when considering setting up a trust.
More on how to find a trust lawyer online
Sourcing a free quote for a trust lawyer in Australia is the first step in getting the legal support you need. Here's a quick rundown of websites that could help you out:
- Lawpath. Australia's biggest lawyer marketplace claims it will give you a free quote within four hours of your enquiry.
- LegalVision. LegalVision offers a fixed-fee service to meet your legal needs.
- Stacks Law Firm. Stacks Law Firm also offers free quotes for trust lawyers. Expect to be contacted within 24 hours of completing their enquiry form on their website.
- Best Lawyers. Best Lawyers has a directory of trust lawyers with details of their location, areas of specialisation and relevant awards. Many offer free quotes.
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