Should I hire a lawyer to help create a living trust?

When it comes to creating a living trust, there is no “magic” that makes it work correctly or imbues it with legal authority. If it’s so simple, why should you need a lawyer to help you create it at all? Can’t you just find the requirements and create one yourself?

Well, yes — technically speaking, you can go and do that. It’s even possible that a self-created living trust will serve your needs, much in the same way that it is possible to change the brakes on your car if you are not an auto mechanic.

However, whether it is possible and whether it is wise are two entirely different questions. The entire purpose of creating a living trust is to use facets of the law and the tax code to your advantage. A properly created living trust allows you to guard your assets, either from collection efforts or from probate in the event of death or incapacitation.

Realistically, if you have assets large or complex enough to justify creating a living trust, then you almost certainly do not want to take the gamble that creating it yourself may save you some relatively small sum of money. While hiring a lawyer to create a living trust is not free, the experience brought to the table by an attorney with years of trust creation and administration will help you anticipate complications that you may not be able to see on your own.

The more complex or valuable your assets are, the more they necessitate professional guidance. You’ve already demonstrated a desire to act wisely by creating a trust to protect your estate — it is not wisdom to risk creating an unenforceable or vulnerable trust simply to be thrifty. Ultimately, this cost saving measure may cost you far more in the long run than it ever saves you up front. If you are ready to create the right trust for your situation, an experienced attorney can assist you, protecting your rights in the process.

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