California residents may have seen the recent blog post regarding the California statutory will, which is the most basic, fill-in-the-blanks will that a person with few estate planning needs can use. While this will could actually be useful in a pinch, it provides almost no flexibility in regards to the terms of the will, and those who need to modify it may end up accidentally nullifying the will entirely in the process. For those reasons alone, a statutory will is almost never recommended for people with anything beyond the most simplistic estate planning needs.
Many of our clients in California find that they need a custom-fit will, but oftentimes they also may benefit from setting up a trust for various estate planning purposes. For one thing, a trust provides explicit direction and enforcement of a person's wishes, during life, after death or both. For another thing, having a trust in place can provide valuable tax incentives for the person funding the trust, as well as the trust beneficiaries.
Because a trust is so closely tailored to the client's instructions, our firm strives to avoid the kind of boilerplate terms found in many conventional legal documents. Rather, our attorneys always attempt to draft trust documents in clear and specific terms that lawyers and lay-persons alike can understand. Trusts may be complex and may contain many important moving parts, but they never need to be made more confusing by the inclusion of unnecessary legal jargon.
People with estate planning questions are often very satisfied to know that there are numerous types of trusts. Our firm aims to help our clients find one to fit their specific needs.