n many families, legal trusts are created for a variety of reasons. When you own assets, you typically have title and the beneficial use of the asset. Take a home, for example: if your name is on title directly, you own the property. If it appreciates in value, that appreciation is yours. You can use the house. You can make all the choices that ownership provides, which might include the right to rent it, to expand it, or even to demolish it. In this instance, legal title and the benefits provided by the home are yours.

The basic principle of a trust is the separation of legal title and benefits. In a trust, one or more people or entities are designated to hold title to the trust’s assets. But one or more other people are entitled to the benefits provided by those assets. (And yes, these two groups sometimes overlap.)

Sometimes, a trust is created as part of an estate plan to pass wealth through generations of a family. In other instances, trusts are created to provide for the health, education, medical needs, or welfare or other needs of its beneficiaries. Trusts can also be created to provide limits on how much money or use of property someone is allowed to have. Trusts may have other purposes that may relate to charitable goals, tax savings, and the like.

There are many reasons why someone might need an attorney for a trust. Some of these might include the following:

  • You want to have a say in when your beneficiaries will receive their inheritance;
  • You want to lower your estate taxes; 
  • You don’t want your family or beneficiaries to go through probate;
  • Or you want to make sure your trust is valid and properly executed following your death. 

If any of these circumstances apply to you, you may need a trust attorney.

In a Colorado divorce, the interests a husband or wife may have in a trust may rise to the level of being a property right, and this can then influence how property is divided. A husband or wife may also have a right to income from a trust, and this can influence how a divorce case is resolved in other ways, such as how spousal maintenance (alimony) is decided, how child support is divided, and even, again, how property is divided. The question of whether a specific interest in a trust rises to the level of being considered property in a Colorado divorce is complicated. Involving a lawyer who is experienced with trusts involved in divorces is about the only way you can get an understanding of your rights.

Contact Our Denver Trust Litigation Attorneys Today

We have years of experience in this area and have been involved in many of the key cases that have defined this area of the law.  Call us at 303-951-4506 for a divorce consultation if your case may involve one or more trusts.