Is It Necessary to Have A Lawyer to Create A Trust?

Estate Planning Lawyer Phoenix, AZ

If you’ve decided a trust is the right estate planning option for you, it is highly recommended you hire a lawyer. Cheap “do-it-yourself” templates and online methods of creating a living trust do exist, but hiring a professional is the best way to ensure that a complex legal document does exactly what you want it to do. Below you’ll find the best reasons to have a lawyer help you create a trust.

Every Situation is Different

The problem with standard trust templates is that they do not account for every person’s unique situation. The more complex an estate plan, the more you’ll need a lawyer’s assistance. Consider hiring a lawyer if you want your trust to:

  • Generation skip
  • Create beneficiary trusts
  • You have a beneficiary with special needs
  • You own a large amount and/or high-value assets
  • You own a business

Trust Laws Vary in Each State

Estate planning templates, books, and software programs are kept simple to comply with the laws of all 50 states. But if you want your trust to work in the best way possible for you and your family, you’ll want it to specifically comply with probate and estate laws of the state in which you reside. Lawyers are licensed to practice specifically in certain states and will be most familiar with the laws that apply to your unique situation.

Only Lawyers Can Offer Legal Advice

Do-it-yourself trust templates and online programs often come with the following disclaimer: “The information contained in this (template/book/program) is not legal advice and is not a substitute for legal advice. For legal advice, consult with an attorney.” This is because only lawyers can offer legal advice to their clients, and they can do so in a way that addresses their client’s specific needs and wants with their trust.

Lawyers Keep your Estate Plan Up to Date

The general recommendation is to review and/or update your estate plan every 3-5 years, or at any major life event. Experienced estate planning lawyers keep track of the clients. A good and effective estate plan is current and up to date and lawyers will remind you when it is time to revisit your documents.

The Classic “Choose Two Test”

Quick. Inexpensive. High Quality. You can only have two of these three things.

  • Want something quick and of high quality? Then chances are it won’t be inexpensive.
  • Want something inexpensively and of high quality? Then chances are it won’t be fast, it takes time to create a quality product.

You get the picture. So if you choose a fast and cheap method of creating a trust, then you can’t be surprised when the end product is not of high quality. The time and cost of hiring a lawyer to help you create and maintain your trust will pay off in the long run.

Do you need to create an estate plan? Or update an old one? Call Kamper & Estrada, PLLC to set up a free initial consultation with an experienced estate planning attorney.


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