Preparing Customized Wills and Trusts
Even the most basic estate plan should include a will and, very often, a trust. These important documents can be customized to reflect your specific needs and goals.
At Schmiesing, Blied, Stoddart & Mackey, based in Orange County, California, our estate planning attorneys are highly skilled at the preparation of wills and trusts. Contact us to discuss your options.
Exploring Your Trust Options
While all estate plans should include a will, many estates would benefit from the creation of a trust. A trust takes legal ownership of assets and is managed by a trustee for the benefit of one or more beneficiaries. There are several specific types of trusts that our lawyers can help you establish, each with its own variety of benefits. These include:
- Revocable living trusts: This is the key building block in most estate plans. It avoids probate, may avoid conservatorship and can be used to reduce tax liability.
- Charitable trusts: A trust can be used both to enhance the value of your charitable giving and to facilitate more effective tax planning.
- Children's trusts: When a minor child is to receive an inheritance, a responsible trustee can ensure that the funds are managed wisely.
- Life insurance trusts: By designating a trust as the beneficiary of your life insurance plan, you may be able to achieve several advantages.
- Special needs trusts: This type of trust enables you to set aside funds that will be managed for the benefit of a person with special needs.
- Irrevocable (tax planning) trusts: An irrevocable trust, while it gives you less flexibility, may avoid taxes more effectively than a revocable trust.
If you are interested in what wills, trusts and other estate planning mechanisms can accomplish for you and your family, don't hesitate to contact us.
A Will: Always a Necessary Element
While the various types of trusts are excellent estate planning tools giving you significant flexibility, one thing you should not neglect is a will.
This essential estate planning document names guardians for your minor children and an executor who can wrap up your estate and deal with any claims against it. Your will also serves a "pour over" function by governing the distribution of any assets you acquire that are not placed in trust.