Trusts are excellent tools that can be used for many purposes. Here in California, revocable trusts – also known as “living trusts” – are often created in order to avoid the need for costly and time-consuming Probate Administration after one’s death. No matter the size of one’s estate, a living trust can direct the disposition of one’s assets and appoint a friend, family member, or professional fiduciary to handle the administration.
Irrevocable Trusts, such as Special Needs Trusts, Discretionary Trusts, Charitable Trusts, Residence Trusts, and Life Insurance Trusts, can be used to accomplish a variety of goals and objectives. For example, Life Insurance Trusts can be used to ultimately pass large gifts to one’s heirs while minimizing gift and estate tax exposure. Properly drafted Special Needs Trusts can be great tools to provide supplemental benefits to individuals with special needs without jeopardizing state and federal benefits that individual may be receiving.
What sets trusts apart from other methods of asset transfer is the flexibility they offer. Distribution amounts, schedules (50% at age 25 and 50% at age 30, for example), and other pre-requisites (completion of college, for instance) can all be set forth in a trust document.
To ensure that one’s trust will comply with all legal requirements and will be enforced, consultation with a qualified estate planning attorney is strongly recommended. We offer free estate planning consultations and would be glad to assist you, so give us a call today to schedule your appointment.