Santa Ana Trusts Attorney


Planning for the future is important financially, personally, and medically. You want to be sure that you are protected and that your loved ones have the things they need. Putting plans in place for your future can make you feel more secure, give you clear steps to follow, and help you avoid stress. Making plans for how your loved ones will be taken care of when you die is also essential.

One way to ensure your assets are divided how you wish and that your loved ones are taken care of is to create a trust. A Santa Ana trust attorney can help you understand what options are available for you and determine how you should move forward.


There are many tools available to you when you are in the process of estate planning. Many people choose to write a will, which is a legal document that details your wishes for your property, assets, and loved ones when you pass away. This is legally binding and will not go into effect until you are no longer living. Another popular type of estate planning is creating a trust, which can be done in one of two ways.

Revocable Living Trust

If you want to be sure that your assets are given to the correct people or entities but still have control over the process while you are living, then you may choose to establish a revocable trust. During this process, you will select a third party, referred to as the trustee, who will be responsible for distributing your assets and carrying out your wishes. You will be able to set the terms of when the revocable trust goes into effect, such as upon your death or after a major life event for the beneficiary, but you also have the power to change or end the trust prior to your death.


You may have certain assets, such as property or stocks, that you do not need while you are living but want to be given to a specific person in the event of your death. In these instances, you may choose to create an irrevocable trust. In this case, the trust itself becomes a legal entity where you will place any assets you wish to pass on. Similar to a revocable or living trust, you will designate an individual to manage the irrevocable trust. Once assets have been placed in the trust, they are under the full control of the trustee until the time comes for them to be passed to the beneficiaries.


Estate planning does not only deal with what happens when you pass away. In some cases, like when you are creating an advance health care directive, you will be choosing how your affairs will be handled in the event that you are incapacitated. If you become ill, are involved in a serious accident, or struggle with mental illness, you may reach a point where you cannot make medical, financial, and legal decisions on your own.

Using an advanced health care directive in your estate planning allows you to choose who will make those decisions for you. Your chosen agent will be given power of attorney (POA), which gives them the legal authority to make all major decisions for you. There are several different types of POA that you can take advantage of.

  • Durable. This power of attorney is the one that lasts the longest. Once it has been signed and approved, it will be in effect until it is destroyed or revoked by the one who created it.
  • General. Some of the most important decisions that will need to be made deal with financial and overall wellness decisions. A general POA gives the agent the power to make major decisions for you while you are temporarily incapacitated.
  • Limited. Not everyone wants to give away all of their decision-making power, even if they are temporarily incapacitated. In these instances, an individual can create a limited or specific power of attorney to give decision-making power over certain things, such as medical or financial decisions.
  • Financial. When someone is given a financial power of attorney, they only have the ability to make major financial decisions for the incapacitated individual.
  • Medical. You may find yourself incapacitated mentally, either due to mental illness or an accident. In the event that this happens, an agent with POA will be able to make medical choices on your behalf.

There is a power of attorney for your needs, whether you need a general power of attorney for temporary incapacity, a medical power of attorney for mental incapacity, or a durable power of attorney to make sure all your needs are met. When you are estate planning, either by naming a POA agent or creating a trust for your children, it is important to know the legal process in Santa Ana, CA before finalizing your plans.


When an individual dies, there is a court process, called probate, that must be completed before their estate can be closed. If there is a trust in place, then the loved ones of the deceased will file a petition with probate for the will to be opened, read, and carried out. For those without a will in place, probate will assign an executor to pay off any debts, distribute any assets among family, and close the estate. There are several ways to avoid probate, including joint tenancy of assets and a living trust. An experienced estate planning attorney can help you create a plan that allows your family to avoid the hassle and strain of probate.


Estate planning like living trusts, last will and testament, and advance health care directives are put in place to ensure your loved ones are provided for, so they should be handled carefully. An experienced trust attorney can help you with the estate planning process to ensure that any assets are protected, medical decisions can be made properly, and any outstanding debts can be paid. If you are ready to start creating a will, establishing a trust, or naming a power of attorney agent, contact the team at the Law Office of Christopher P. Walker, P.C.

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