Whether you want to avoid a California probate, protect your assets from creditors, or ensure a disabled child will be cared for when you’re gone, trust can likely help you accomplish your goals.
Creating a California trust can be an effective estate planning tool. Many of our clients use trusts when creating an estate plan in order to avoid the expenses of the California Probate Court system. Today, trusts are more popular than ever in estate planning. Individuals can tailor the terms of their trust to meet their unique needs and financial situations.
If you would like to set up an estate plan but do not know where to start, we can help. Our attorneys have helped many Sacramento residents create effective and thorough estate plans. We can discuss the different types of trusts available to California residents and help you decide on which trust or trusts are right for you and your family. Our attorneys also assist clients in the management of trusts. Contact our Sacramento estate planning office today to schedule your initial consultation and learn how our law firm can help you.
WHAT ARE TRUSTS?
California trusts are written legal documents that allow a trustee to manage assets on behalf of the beneficiaries of the trust. The creator of the trust is known as the settlor. The person or people who manage the assets within the trust are called the trustees. Beneficiaries are the people who will receive the assets of the trust.
The transfer of assets depends on the type of trust created by the settlor. The trustee may pay beneficiaries part of assets over time or the assets may transfer to the beneficiary upon the settlor’s death. Settlors can structure their trust in a variety of different ways. Settlors have an enormous amount of control as to when and how beneficiaries may access the assets in the trust.
THE MANY BENEFITS OF CREATING A TRUST
Living trusts have become particularly popular in California. Many estates use a trust to eliminate potentially exorbitant probate costs. By placing your assets into a trust, you can also avoid the months or even years that it often takes the California Probate Court to distribute assets according to a will. In addition to saving your family time and money by avoiding a lengthy probate process after your death, trusts offer several other advantages.
There are two main types of trusts: Revocable and Irrevocable Trusts. Our office has extensive experience drafting both kinds.
CALIFORNIA REVOCABLE LIVING TRUSTS
Revocable living trusts are a commonly used type of trust in California estate planning. These types of trusts are often referred to as “family trusts” or “living trusts”. Revocable trusts transport the owner of the trust’s assets upon the passing of the settlor. Typically, a parent will create a revocable living trust and transfer assets into the trust during their lifetime. The settlor typically has the ability to move assets in and out of the trust and make changes to the trust during his or her lifetime. In a revocable living trust, the settlor can revoke or cancel the trust at any time up until his or her death. Revocable trusts give the settlor flexibility in their ability to make changes to the trust.
CALIFORNIA IRREVOCABLE TRUSTS
Irrevocable trusts are designed for long-term asset management. These types of trust are also commonly used in estate planning. In an irrevocable trust, the settlor of the trust transfers control or ownership of the trust property to another person who acts as the trustee. This removes the trust assets from the settlor’s taxable estate and also offers settlors the benefit of asset protection. Most creditors of the settlor typically cannot access the assets held within the trust because the settlor themself does not have access to the trust. Some exceptions exist, however. Irrevocable trusts are still susceptible to child support claims, federal tax claims, alimony claims, and California state tax claims.
Our blog post on which type of trust is right for you may be helpful in getting started.
HOW TO CREATE A TRUST?
The process of creating a trust is much simpler and faster than many clients anticipate! The process typically progresses like this:
- You’ll schedule a no-cost initial consultation and complete our intake form.
- You’ll discuss your estate planning wishes with one of our attorneys.
- Our office will draft your documents and explain them thoroughly.
- You’ll execute your documents with a Notary Public.
- Our office will help transfer any real estate to the trust.
- You’ll transfer any additional assets into your trust.
This whole process generally takes 2-3 weeks to complete. It’s simple, straight-forward, and easy.
OUR TRUST ATTORNEYS CAN HELP
At The Law Offices of Daniel Hunt, we understand how overwhelming it can be to create a trust for the first time. We pride ourselves on providing a client-centered experience and explaining complicated concepts so simply that a child could understand them. Whether you need assistance creating or updating a California trust, our experienced attorneys can help. To learn how our skilled attorneys can assist you, contact our Sacramento law firm today to schedule your no-cost initial consultation.