This Sacramento estate planning legal blog has provided a number of posts on the various kinds of trusts that Californians may wish to create as they consider how their wealth and assets should be distributed upon their deaths. While many estate planners wish to leave their families and friends the money and goods they have amassed over the course of their lives others also wish to make charitable contributions to organizations that are important to them. The creation of charitable trusts can serve this purpose and this post will address some of the basics on these specialized trust tools.
Having a well-organized estate plan is one of the most important decisions that a Sacramento resident can make for the good of his or her family. While this is generally understood, many people are lacking the in-depth information to make the best decisions to suit their specific situation. A trust is an example of this. There are various kinds of trusts including a revocable trust and an irrevocable trust among others. Knowing how a revocable trust can be beneficial is a wise step before using it.
For Californians, estate planning might be perceived as a dual-edged sword. On one hand, it is a strategy to make sure that loved ones are cared for and assets are allocated as the owner wants. On the other hand, it is acknowledging one's mortality and preparing for the inevitable. However, there are certain methods that are beneficial and should be considered even if it is difficult to contemplate. One is a trust. Specifically, a living trust (inter vivos trust) is a tactic that is useful. Knowing its benefits and potential drawbacks is key before deciding.
When we discuss living trusts and other estate planning documents, we often focus on how they can help and how to set them up. But we often overlook details about what happens once the plan is in place.
Creating a family trust that will endure for generations is an ambition of many people who have amassed significant wealth. Under California law, however, there is a limit on how long an interest created by a trust can last. That limit is called the "rule against perpetuities."
For some people in California, estate planning is very simple. The cornerstone of their estate plan is a simple will containing instructions as to how their assets should be distributed upon death. Combined with a durable power of attorney to provide some protection if they become incapacitated, and a living will to make sure their health care wishes are respected, they have all they need in an estate plan.
Under California law, a trustee has significant responsibilities. Some of the most important of these arise upon the death of the person creating the trust - called the trustor or settlor.
Probate in California is unfortunately an expensive and time-consuming process. Probate refers to the court proceedings to administer the estate of a deceased person and distribute their assets to heirs and beneficiaries. Court costs and legal fees can be prohibitive. For this reason, many people who are beginning the estate planning process are interested in avoiding probate.
Trusts are a popular estate planning vehicle in California. But trusts can be used for many purposes besides managing financial assets for the benefit of loved ones. In fact, California's Probate Code specifically says a trust can be established for any purpose that is not illegal or contrary to public policy. A good example of a specialized trust is the pet trust.
In this blog we have on several occasions discussed the advantages of a revocable trust for estate planning purposes in California. A revocable trust is what the name implies: it can be modified or terminated at any time during the settlor's lifetime. But what about an irrevocable trust? Can it ever be modified or terminated?