Though it can be hard for some to address, it’s necessary to determine what will happen to your property and assets after your death. Trusts are an essential way to protect your assets and help ensure they make their way to your loved ones after your passing. You can create a plan for what will happen to money, accounts, real estate, and other assets during your lifetime with a trust. This provides your loved ones with less to worry about after your death and better financial security.
Without an outlined plan for your assets, your loved ones may have to deal with the lengthy court process of probate. Not only can this take years, but it can be costly. Estate planning is necessary in California to prevent loved ones from going through this process during their grief. It’s important to put time and thought into the creation of an effective trust, and one which is legally sound. A trust and estate planning attorney can make the creation of a trust much easier and be sure that it is secure and legally binding.
Our office has decades of estate planning and trust creation, and we want to help to craft a trust that provides you peace of mind and keeps your assets secure. A trust is not the only aspect of estate planning, but it is one of the most important. If you become incapacitated or die, a trust keeps your assets with your loved ones. It can provide you and them with a secure financial future.
At the Law Office of Christopher P. Walker, P.C., we want to help you understand the function and specifics of the trust you are creating and be sure that it meets your specifications. At our firm, we believe in careful attention to detail and personalized legal counsel. We focus on communication and quality of service and want to help you create a will that you can feel secure with.
A trust holds your assets while you’re alive through a legal entity. You, the trustor or grantor, give legal ownership of the assets in it to another party, the trustee, after your death. The trustee may be a loved one, such as a family member, an institution, or another professional that you trust, such as an attorney. It’s important that the person or institution you name your trustee is someone you can trust and is financially and legally responsible.
Before you pass, you are usually considered the trustee, and the contents of the trust are still yours. If you feel you are unable to look after your trust while you’re alive, you can name someone else the trustee and yourself the beneficiary, continuing to allow you access to your assets. You may feel that you are too busy to properly handle the trust or that you don’t have the financial and legal understanding to take care of it.
Whether you are considered the beneficiary or the trustee at the time of trust creation, you must name a trustee when you pass. When you die, the trustee you named will have the job of taking care of your trust and distributing its contents according to your directives. The trustee is also responsible for taxes and other important legal and financial matters. They are legally liable if they poorly manage your trust and cause damages. The person you appoint as trustee must understand these responsibilities.
In the document, you can name beneficiaries to the contents of your trust. They may be loved ones, family members, or other beneficiaries. They will inherit your assets, and the trustee will distribute the contents to them. The trustee and the beneficiaries are part of a fiduciary relationship once the trust is created, meaning that the trustee must act in the best interests of the beneficiaries. A trustee is not allowed to take any action that is against the best interests of the beneficiaries.