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Wyoming Living Trust Forms – Irrevocable & Revocable

The Wyoming living trust is a legal agreement created by a person who wishes to protect their assets should they become mentally incapacitated and prefers to bypass the Wyoming probate process after they die. The Grantor (creator of the trust) appoints a Trustee to govern the trust and distribute assets within the trust to the named Beneficiaries after the Grantor’s death. The Trustee remains in charge of the trust if the Grantor becomes mentally debilitated instead of a conservator (court-appointed representative.) Avoiding the probate process in Wyoming can be beneficial as the legal fees are high, the procedures are lengthy, and all assets are made public record. A living trust will avoid this hassle and, with an irrevocable trust, could save on estate taxes after death.

Laws – Title 4, Chapter 10 (Uniform Living Trust Code)

Will (Last Will and Testament) – Unlike a living trust, a person’s will must go through probate after they die. Since a will only takes effect once a person dies, assets within the will are not protected if the creator becomes mentally incapacitated. A will should be created in addition to a living trust to name an executor and guardian for children.

Types

Irrevocable – Irrevocable living trusts are permanent once created and cannot be altered or terminated (see WY Stat § 4-10-412 for exceptions.) Ownership of assets is transferred to the trust, distancing the Grantor from potential lawsuits and creditor claims.

Revocable – The contents of a revocable trust can be changed or revoked at any point during the Grantor’s lifetime. It has the benefit of avoiding probate but the assets are still owned by the Grantor and are subject to creditors and estate taxes. A revocable trust becomes irrevocable once the Grantor dies.

Individual Roles

Grantor – Individual who creates the trust.

Trustee – Individual who has control over the contents of the trust and distributes the assets to the Beneficiaries upon the Grantor’s death. They maintain control over the trust instead of a conservator in the event the Grantor becomes mentally incapacitated.

Successor Trustee – When the Grantor dies, or if they become mentally unfit to oversee the trust, the Successor Trustee adopts the Trustee’s responsibilities (if the Grantor has appointed themselves Trustee.)

Beneficiaries – Individuals to whom assets within the trust are bequeathed.

How to Make a Living Trust in Wyoming

Any person aged 18 years or older may create a living trust if the creation is in accordance to § 4-10-403. The Grantor must include in the agreement a Trustee, Successor Trustee, and Beneficiaries. It’s important to think very carefully when choosing a Trustee (or Successor Trustee if the Grantor has named themselves Trustee) as they will have control over all assets placed within the trust. The Grantor may name themselves a Beneficiary in order to continue to use assets within the trust, but they may not be the sole Beneficiary or the sole Trustee. The living trust agreement should be signed by the Grantor in front of a notary public, although this is not legally obligatory. Finally, assets are transferred to the trust. Any assets not included in the trust should be mentioned in a “pour-over” will.

Real Estate – Property can be placed in a trust by using a Wyoming General Warranty Deed or a Wyoming Quit Claim Deed.

Motor Vehicles – The title to any motor vehicle being transferred to the trust must be produced and a Wyoming Bill of Sale Form must be completed.

Do I Need a Living Trust in Wyoming?

A living trust is an extensive document and is often very expensive to create and maintain. Generally, only those with large estates or multiple properties within, and outside, the State of Wyoming will benefit from creating a living trust. The reason for this is there will be a different probate process for every property in their respective states when the Grantor dies. Both types of living trusts will allow the Beneficiaries to inherit assets within the trust without going through probate and without having anything recorded into public record. Furthermore, an irrevocable living trust can help lower estate taxes when the Grantor dies and, since ownership is now in the name of the trust, it’s harder for creditors to make claims on the estate.

Those with small estates, valued at $200,000 or less, will find it more expensive and time-consuming to create a living trust than it’s worth. Wyoming has a small estates law which allows heirs of the deceased to file a Wyoming Small Estate Affidavit within 30 days of a person’s death in order to claim assets outside of probate.

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