Most people understand that a will is a legal document that declares in writing your wishes about how your property will be disposed of after you die. Although the will has some legal value, you may want to consider a trust as a more effective way to cost-effectively pass your estate to your heirs.
As your will and trust lawyer, I can provide legal services for both wills and trusts. I often advise clients about the advantages of the trust as a way to control how their property reaches its beneficiaries.
Sometimes known as a "living trust," the revocable trust can be changed at any point during your lifetime. It also protects your property from probate and can have tax advantages. The revocable trust is often used by estate planners for the above reasons.
Another form of revocable trust is the AB trust, which can save you a lot of money in estate taxes.
With an irrevocable trust, you relinquish ownership and control of your property to the trust. The trust can provide you with an income, and is useful in matters such as life insurance planning. Irrevocable trusts can also provide children with a fund for education or other specific purposes.
Other types of irrevocable trusts include:
- Charitable remainder trust, which is a tax-saving alternative for people who want to make a substantial gift to a charitable organization. It can be a powerful tool for many individuals, especially those who have assets, like stock or real estate, that have appreciated over time.
- Special needs trust, which is established for the long-term care of a disabled individual. With it, the beneficiary can maintain SSI income and Medicaid benefits.
Call for Assistance
As a teacher in wills, trusts and probate at a local college, I feel I am good at explaining your best choices so, for more information about your legal options with wills and trusts in California, I invite you to call my office and arrange for a free initial consultation.