Size does not matter. What matters, when it comes to your trust, is the language that is included. As a private entity, the trust document is what governs any situation that you and your loved ones may face. To keep the trust private, there needs to be provisions that cover many of life’s uncertainties, including those provisions that might add a few extra pages to your documents.
The old adage is the only certainty in life is “death and taxes”. And your trust covers that. But the majority of the language in your trust is set to cover anything else. And unfortunately, there are no shortcuts. Because shortcuts lead to ambiguity, and ambiguity leads to court – and no one wants that.
For example, a trust can be cut down by granting the trustee “all the powers to do and act as I would in that situation”. However, this will not be interpreted favorably by banks or other financial institutions because it is too broad, and it will be thought that the maker of the trust really did not mean to be that inclusive.
So, instead, the trust enumerates ALL of the powers that “everything” may entail. When there is that level of detail, our clients can rest assured that whatever their trustee may face, it is covered.
So, can a trust be 2 pages long? The answer is “yes.” There is no legal requirement as to a page length of a trust. However, that two-page trust will, in all likelihood, lead to bigger, more expensive issues since a two-page trust cannot contemplate life’s twists and turns.
The safer option is to have a trust that does contemplate whatever life has in store for you, and have the experienced advisor there, in your corner, to help you understand what is in your trust.
Come see one of our experienced estate planning attorneys to see what is in your trust. Call us today.
Contributed by MH Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Las Cruces Estate Planning Attorney James P. Plitz.
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This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.