Properly Maintaining Trusts

Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 October 2020 06:38 Written by Chris Griswold Tuesday, 19 September 2017 11:32

Trusts….  They’re a great tool for basically everyone.  They’re private and not filed of record – like a probate, they retain better control over the process of administering a person’s estate, as opposed to giving that control over to a judge in probate, and are cost-effective too (as opposed to an expensive probate process).  I write lots of trusts for people, and I just wanted to put out a few helpful reminders about how to properly run and maintain any trust.  Helpful information for everyone (and don’t forget to click on my Facebook or YouTube links below to also see my short video on this material).

Properly Maintaining Trusts

Question #1:  I just formed a trust, what sort of insurance considerations should I be aware of?  After you’ve formed a trust, title to your personal residence (and any other properties that you’ve deeded into the trust) will be changed over to the name of the trust (or they should be, read more below).  This creates the need to change up the name in which the property casualty insurance is held on your home and other properties.  Accordingly, be sure and add the name of your recently formed trust as an additional insured on your home’s/properties property casualty insurance policy(ies).

Question #2:  Will my living trust protect my estate in the event my spouse or I have to go into a nursing home or other long term care facility?  No.  In other words, your estate may have to be “spent down” before either you or your spouse will qualify for Medicaid or other government benefits.

Question #3:  Does my trust somehow later protect my assets from a bankruptcy or the claims of creditors?  Usually, no.  The assets in your trust are still subject to any creditors’ claims, just as they were before the creation of your trust; just as they would be in any bankruptcy proceeding (which now has a 10 year reach back mechanism for bankruptcy trustees to employ in avoiding fraudulent transfers which are made prior to the voluntary filing of a bankruptcy petition).

Question #4:  Does my trust somehow later protect my assets from claims of my spouse (or such spouse’s creditors) in the event of a divorce later on?  No.

Question #5:   I’ve recently formed my trust, how should title to my assets be titled?   Property remaining in or titled in either: i) an individual’s name, or ii) the joint names of you and your spouse may still be subject to probate at the time of your respective deaths.  So, be sure to re-title all property into the name of your trust, so as to avoid probate (which is one of the biggest benefits of forming trusts).

What My Clients Are Saying

 “Just a note to let you know how much I have appreciated your help in the past with lease preparation and certain lease particulars that the lay person may sometimes not be familiar with. You have demonstrated a good balance of getting past certain points of law that when considering the lease in its entirety, have a tendency to slow the deal process. As I continue to do more business with larger companies, especially public companies, your knowledge of what is relevant and what is not is of great benefit. I also value you not interjecting yourself in the business points of a transaction except when appropriate. I trust that we will be doing business together for many years to come.”
Mark Ruffin, Precor/Ruffin / Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Learn More

Protecting Your Young Adult

Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 November 2015 03:16 Written by Chris Griswold Tuesday, 10 November 2015 03:16

For those of you with children that are (or will be) 18 years of age or older and unmarried, this one is for you.  Parenthood, like the joy of putting up Christmas lights, is laced with love, joy and fear (just like the scene of “Clark W.” putting up lights on his roof in the movie Christmas Vacation).  Regrettably, we all hear about young adults (who are really just kids) that have unexpected, near-death accidents.  These accidents seem, for whatever reason, to happen most often during the holiday season and/or on Spring Breaks (which is just around the corner).  Afterwards, these “children” are admitted to hospitals for care and that’s where the relevance of this topic comes into play.  Accordingly, if you have (or will have) children which potentially fit into this 18+ category, read more below (and don’t forget to click on my Facebook or YouTube links below to also see my short video on this material).

Protecting Your Young Adult

Fact Pattern:  Your 19 year old daughter is hit by a drunk driver while driving home from college for the holidays and is admitted to a nearby hospital (we all know how horribly often this type of scenario happens).  Luckily, the hospital’s administration found enough good identification on your daughter to enable them to quickly contact you.  You rush off to the hospital to comfort your daughter.  After speaking to doctors and nurses, you understand the prognosis.  You tell the doctor what you want to do, what care you want your daughter to receive going forward and what decisions you’ve made concerning your daughter’s medical care.  When you’ve finished speaking, the doctor gives you a funny look….

Issue:  The doctor tells you that, since your daughter is over 18 and unmarried, she is legally an adult and the hospital will have to make all of these decisions for your daughter – unless you have a medical, durable power of attorney which your daughter has previously signed appointing you (or somebody else she trusts) with such power of attorney over her.

You can’t believe what you’re hearing.  In your mind (and in reality) your daughter is just a baby and, except during the school months of the year, still a member of your household.  You should be the one making decisions, not the hospital.  However, your daughter is 18+ so she’s legally an adult.  The upshot is you should have, at some point after she turned 18, had her sign one of these.  Folks, this stuff happens every day.  Don’t let it happen to you….

If you need one of these medical, durable (means it stays in effect whether or not your child is still competent or capable of making decisions for themselves) powers of attorney for your child, let me know.  I’ll be glad to send you the form for free….

The information presented within this article is of a general nature and is not intended to be relied upon as legal advice in any particular matter without first consulting qualified counsel.

What My Clients Are Saying

“I have been extremely pleased with the legal services provided by Chris.  He is an expert on real estate issues; devotes immediate attention to our needs and follows through with all required action.  I look forward to a continuing relationship with Chris.”
Harrison Levy / Chairman / Newmark, Grubb, Levy, Strange, Beffort / Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Learn More

Necessary Insurance Changes

Last Updated on Sunday, 9 August 2015 12:51 Written by Chris Griswold Sunday, 9 August 2015 12:51

When you form your trust and deed real and personal property into such trust, you need to think about making changes to your insurance policy(ies) so that the insurance proceeds will be paid (or timely paid) in the event of a claim.  See below (and don’t forget to click on my Facebook or YouTube links below to also see my short video on this material).

Necessary Insurance Changes

When people form their trusts, they usually deed/re-title their real and personal property into their trust (or put the ownership/title of such real and personal property into an LLC and then transfer their membership unit interests in such LLC into their newly formed trust – thereby making the trust the sole member/manager of such LLC), but they forget to think about making changes to their insurance  policy(ies) which pertain to such real and personal property which have recently been deeded/re-titled into the name of their trust.

What should you do?  The prevailing methodology to be employed in most cases is that you should instruct your insurance agent to add the name of your trust as an “additional insured to any and all policy(ies) of property casualty/general liability/homeowner’s insurance you currently have (or will have) in place and leave you personally as the “named insured” on such policy(ies).  However, if you’ve also put properties into your trust (or into LLC’s whose unit membership interests are to be assigned over to the trust) which are not your primary residence (e.g., vacant land or income producing/rental properties), the foregoing will not apply and you’ll want to talk further with your insurance agent about obtaining separate insurance policies for these additional properties.

The information presented within this article is of a general nature and is not intended to be relied upon as legal advice in any particular matter without first consulting qualified counsel.

What My Clients Are Saying

“I take special care when selecting business partners to represent my company and look for those who exhibit the same levels of professionalism and integrity that I try to achieve.  Chris Griswold definitely meets these requirements and is considered a very valuable member of the JOBO Properties team.  I have no hesitation in recommending Mr. Griswold to handle your business and commercial real estate transactions.” Darren Ford / Owner & Developer of JOBO Properties, L.L.C. / Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Learn More

CONTACT US
12101 N. Meridian Avenue
Oklahoma City, 73120034
405.229.7595 (cell)
405.840.1019 (office)

chris@chrisgriswoldpc.com

"Getting Your Deal Done"