Our Estate Planning Frequently Asked Questions

Our estate planning clients have a lot of important questions. We share the answers to some of the more common questions we get in these FAQs.

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  • Ohio Valley Law Firm answers Frequently Asked Questions about Trusts.

    How much time will be devoted as Trustee? 

    Once a Trust is established do we need an Attorney to move assets?

    What if the 5 year look-back changes, will I be grandfathered in with my assets?

    Can I downsize and get a smaller house? 

    Can the Trustee get sued for something that’s wrong with my house when they decide to sell it?

    Q: How much time will be devoted as Trustee?

    In general, Trustees have limited daily involvement when it comes to Trust. Most of the time devoted by a Trustee arises when a beneficiary decides to receive withdrawals or a grantor wants to add an asset to the Trust. Other than that a Trustee is generally on call or waiting until someone needs something.

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    Q: Once a Trust is established do we need an Attorney to move assets?

    No, a good estate planning attorney will sit-down with the Trustees and explain to them their duties and responsibilities as a Trustee. Once the Trustee gets the idea of how it works the Trustee can handle the day-to-day aspects of the Trust, if any are required. In this situation, your estate planning attorney will only be used in cases of emergencies or when the Trustee has no idea what to do.

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    Q: What if the 5 year look-back changes, will I be grandfathered in with my assets?

    The 5 year look-back is exactly what it is a 5 year look back. In essence, the government will look-back to the last 5 years to determine what assets that you had. But there is no-grandfathering if the law changes.

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    Q: Can I downsize and get a smaller house? And if so does the 5 year look-back start again?

    Yes, you can get a new house. But remember once your assets are in the Trust, they are owned by the Trust. Therefore, the Trustee would have to decide to get a new house for you. The 5 year look-back would not start again because you are not buying a new house or taking possession of a new asset, but rather it is the Trust by way of the Trustees that are doing so.

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    Q: Can the Trustee get sued for something that’s wrong with my house when they decide to sell it?

    In general, courts will not hold a Trustee liable for something that they did not know. However, if the Trustee actively participated in the concealment or some sort of fraudulent activity then the Trustee could be held responsible.

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