Virginia LGBTQ Trusts Lawyer

While most people understand the purpose of a will during estate planning, not as many people know how trusts are used in Virginia as will substitutes. Like a will, trusts can be used to manage a person’s assets and property after they pass away.

As a member of the LGBTQ community, a trust can protect your loved ones and ensure that your estate is settled how you want. Contact a Virginia LGBTQ trusts lawyer today and learn more about how these work. If you decide this is the right option for you and your family, a skilled trusts attorney can help you create a plan that meets your need.

Estate Planning Basics

Creating a will or trust allows a person to choose a beneficiary who will receive their property when they die. While both types of documents can accomplish this goal, there are several advantages to choosing a trust over a will.

A trust is more private than a will and is not part of the public record because assets prefunded into a trust are not subject to probate proceedings. The property in a trust transfers by operation of law to the beneficiaries at death and is not generally subject to a court’s oversight.

The person who creates a trust, known as the grantor, often retains the ability to manage the property in their trust until their death. The trust document must name a trustee, who will manage the assets on behalf of the beneficiaries before and after the grantor passes away. If the trustee is the grantor, the grantor will need to name a successor trustee to take over at their death.

Types of Trusts in Virginia

One of the most frequently used trusts in estate planning is a revocable living trust. Revocable living trusts are governed by the Virginia Uniform Trust Code, located at Va. Code Ann. §§ 64.2-700 to 64.2-808.

A revocable living trust can protect assets from creditors, allow the grantor to give property to minor children, provide for another individual’s care, and can distribute assets to beneficiaries according to the grantor’s terms and conditions. Because the trust is revocable, the grantor can add or remove assets to the trust at any time or could decide to dissolve the trust entirely.

In addition to revocable living trusts, the grantor could also choose to create an irrevocable trust. As the name suggests, the major difference in this type of trust is that it cannot be changed once it is created.

Grantors can also create trusts for specific purposes. The law in Virginia allows a grantor to create pet trusts, which provide for the care of a beloved animal after the grantor’s death. Similarly, a grantor can form a charitable trust, which can be used to benefit a charitable organization or for another charitable purpose.

Issues Affecting LGBTQ Grantors

A grantor who is gay has the same rights when planning their estate as any other individual. After the legalization of gay marriage, the law treats married homosexual spouses the same way as heterosexual spouses, including when it comes to devising and inheriting property.

However, there are some LGBTQ-specific issues that grantors should be sure to address when creating a trust. For example, if grantor never married their partner, they will need to be sure to include that person in their relevant estate planning documents. Without including an unmarried partner, the grantor’s immediate family may have more control of the trust assets than the grantor would prefer.

Get Help from a Virginia LGBTQ Trusts Attorney Today

Creating a trust can be an easy way to make sure that property and assets end up with the people you love. If you are ready to create an estate plan and want to make sure that your attorney understands your unique requirements, contact a Virginia LGBTQ trusts lawyer today to get started.