Everyone should carefully consider their options for end-of-life planning. While estate planning may not be the most comfortable topic to think about for some people, the reality is that proper estate planning is critical if you want to leave your property to your loved ones and have peace of mind when it comes to any potential legal issues surrounding your death. One of the best things you can create when it comes to estate planning is a trust.

A Brea trusts lawyer is the best asset to have on your side if you would like to take advantage of the benefits a trust can offer you and your loved ones. There are several options for trust creation, and it helps to have professional guidance when it’s time to determine which form of trust would suit your needs and preferences the most. At the Law Office of Christopher P. Walker, our team provides comprehensive estate planning services to our clients in and around Brea, CA. We have years of experience assisting in all types of trust creation and can put this experience to work for you.


Perhaps the most important benefit to estate planning is helping your family avoid probate. When a person dies without any estate plans, their property becomes intestate and goes into probate proceedings. California state law enforces strict legal statutes concerning probate, and the process of determining intestate succession is complex, time-consuming, and very stressful.

A trust is a legal document that essentially removes your property from your direct control and places it within the legal ownership of the trust. When you create your trust, you designate a personal representative or trustee to distribute the trust’s contents after your death. You can also assign a secondary and even tertiary designation for trustee if your primary designated trustee is unwilling or unable to discharge the duties required of them.

When you place your property into a trust, it never becomes intestate, making probate proceedings unnecessary. Trusts offer a more streamlined alternative to traditional probate proceedings, allowing the trust creator a great deal more control over the distribution of their assets and eliminating the expense and stress that probate typically entails for the trust creator’s family.


Estate planning is a complex and multifaceted process. A good estate planning attorney will take time to get to know their client’s needs and expectations and help them choose the most appropriate configuration for their estate plan. Typically, an estate plan should include:

  • Power of attorney designation. The estate owner chooses who they want to be responsible for making legal decisions on their behalf if they become unable to do so in the future.
  • Advanced medical care directive, which outlines the estate owner’s preferences concerning medical treatment in an emergency.
  • A last will and testament includes the estate owner’s final wishes for their family, including who they would like to inherit their property after their death.
  • A trust allows the trustor’s beneficiaries to avoid probate proceedings after the trustor’s death.

A trust attorney will assist their client in creating the most appropriate form of trust for the client’s needs, but most trust attorneys will also assist in creating other aspects of an estate plan. Ultimately, if you want the most comprehensive estate plan possible, you should choose an experienced Brea trusts lawyer to assist you in creating your estate plan components.


You can find many different software applications and even free online tools to create your own trust. However, a trust you develop yourself will not carry the same legal weight or authority as one developed by an experienced Brea trusts attorney. If you are concerned about the cost of legal fees in creating your trust, be sure to clarify the attorney’s billing policy before agreeing to their representation. Some attorneys will charge by the hour for their services, and others charge flat rates for trust creation.


Generally, you could create two types of trusts for your estate plan: Revocable living trusts and irrevocable living trusts. With both types of trusts, the trust creator must designate a trustee who will manage the contents of the trust once created or after the trust creator’s death.

A revocable living trust is more flexible than an irrevocable living trust, but it does not provide the same level of protection from estate taxes. Essentially, a revocable living trust only takes effect once the trust creator dies, at which time the contents of the trust pass into the ownership of the trustee. Until their death, the trust creator has the right to adjust the trust, including adding more assets to the trust. The downside to this type of trust is that it does not shield the contents of the trust from estate taxation at the federal or state level. The revocable living trust is also unshielded from creditors because the contents still qualify as the trust creator’s property.

An irrevocable living trust is more rigid than a revocable living trust but provides additional tax-shielding benefits. Once created, the contents of the trust immediately pass into the ownership of the trustee, even though the trust creator is still alive. The trust creator cannot change or alter the contents of the trust in any way, but because the contents no longer qualify as the trust creator’s property, there is no need for their beneficiaries to undergo probate at all.


A trust is a fantastic addition to any estate plan that can provide you and your loved ones with peace of mind and financial security. The Law Office of Christopher P. Walker has years of experience assisting clients in Brea and throughout California with their estate planning needs, and we can help you create the ideal estate plan for you. We understand that discussing end-of-life planning is difficult for some, and we want to help you make informed decisions about your estate plan. If you are ready to discuss your trust creation options with an experienced and compassionate Brea trusts attorney, contact The Law Offices of Christopher P. Walker today and schedule a consultation with our team.

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