The revocable trust is a popular estate planning vehicle in California. With a revocable trust an individual can avoid probate, protect the person's privacy, and provide for management of assets both during the person's lifetime and after death. To establish a trust, the first major step is to prepare and sign a trust document which sets out how the assets in the trust are to be managed, and under what circumstances income and principal are to be distributed to the beneficiaries.
In California, the revocable trust is a popular estate planning vehicle, in part because it provides for management of trust assets by a trustee during the settlor's life and after their death. A trust will typically provide that income generated by the trust assets will be paid to the beneficiaries at designated intervals. The trust may specify circumstances under which the trustee can pay trust principal to the beneficiaries, and may provide for lump sum payments of principal at designated times. A revocable trust may also give the trustee discretion about when to make payments to the beneficiaries.
This California estate planning blog has discussed trusts in the past. Generally, a trust is a legal device that protects a property right for a person while that property is held by another individual. Though trusts can serve a wide range of intents and purposes, they are generally grouped into one of two categories -- revocable or irrevocable.
In last week's post we discussed what assets are included in one's estate under California law for estate planning - and estate tax - purposes. One of the assets we mentioned in that post is life insurance. If a person is the owner of a life insurance policy, the proceeds of that policy will be included in their taxable estate for federal estate tax purposes.
Thinking in the worst case scenario is often uncomfortable for California residents, but to ensure financial stability and that wishes are carried out, in the event of incapacitation, it is necessary. One method that can be beneficial to protecting one's property and financial assets is by having a living trust. Before moving forward with it, however, it is important to understand how it can be beneficial.
While it might be an uncomfortable subject for people in Sacramento to broach, the realities of life are that death is inevitable. With that in mind, people with children need to be aware of the various options that are available when it comes to estate planning. This is especially true if the children are young. Having a grasp on what works best for the individual can help in making an informed choice.
In California, trusts have long been a favored means of estate planning. Trusts provide great flexibility can help avoid probate and often significant tax advantages.
In California, many people opt to use a revocable trust instead of a will as their primary estate planning vehicle. One of the main advantages of a revocable trust is that it can enable the trustor's estate to avoid probate.
When novelist Gore Vidal died in 2012, he left an estate worth an estimated $30 million - not including future royalties from his published works. But within months of his death, distant relatives began fighting over the property he left behind, including a $4 million home in Southern California. Several lawsuits were filed, but, recently, the interested parties settled their dispute.
A trust is an extremely versatile tool for estate planning in California. Last week's post discussed some of the advantages of the living or inter vivos trust. There are other types of trusts, however, each having their own advantages and ability to be tailored to meet a client's specific needs.