When Sacramento residents are organizing financial assets, a concern that often arises is how the property will be allocated and whether a trust is a sound strategy. This is important for both the trustor and the beneficiary or beneficiaries. One tactic that is often used is an inter vivos trust, also known as a living trust. Before considering this option, it is imperative to have a grasp on what it entails.
It has been a year since the death of comedian Robin Williams, who committed suicide in his Northern California home on August 11, 2014. Sadly, his widow and his children from previous marriages remain entangled in a bitter dispute over his estate. According to an attorney for the children, Williams' trustees are distressed by the fact that Williams sought to avoid just this kind of dispute when he prepared his estate plan.
Sacramento is the perfect city to settle down, start a family, open a business or retire. In the midst of all these crazy life decisions, it would be unwise to forget about estate planning tools at your disposal, such as wills or trusts. Once settled in a city like Sacramento, it is likely the perfect time to begin estate planning to address the what ifs. Here is why becoming the trustor of your estate plan is not such a bad idea.
When a California woman died last year at age 91, her caretaker was left in control of her assets. The caretaker, now 63, met the woman in 2002 when she was recovering from surgery in an Orange County care center. When she left the facility and went home in 2003, the caretaker continued to visit and provide care for her.
The living trust has become a popular estate planning vehicle for many California residents. A trust is a legal arrangement in which property is transferred to a trustee, who manages the property for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries in the trust document.
The basic concept of a trust is very versatile and can be adapted to accomplish a number of goals. One of the most useful forms of trust for California residents is the special needs trust, which is designed to provide for the supplemental needs of a disabled person while maintaining their eligibility for needs-based government assistance programs.
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.
When something is broken, the solution most people in California think of is fixing it. When a car breaks down, most people take it to the auto shop. When an appliance stops running, most people call a professional to come take a closer look. Very rarely is the best solution to throw out the old car or refrigerator and just buy a new one.
People were stunned and saddened to hear about the death of one of the world's most innovative comedic minds earlier this month. Robin Williams' suicide was completely unexpected to most people, even those who knew him best. His family, friends and fans will mourn the loss for years to come, but even in light of this tragedy people can add "good family provider" to the list of things for which Williams will be remembered.
People in California may have heard that the late actor Philip Seymour Hoffman declined to set up any trusts for his three children, saying he didn't want them to be "trust fund kids." Recently, the musician Sting said essentially the same thing. With this recent negative celebrity press for trusts, it might appear to a casual onlooker that wanting financial security for your children is somehow a bad thing. Sure, most people would want to avoid enabling a stereotype "trust fund kid," but just because a child or heir has a little financial security or jumpstart is by no means a sentence condemning them to a lifetime of coddling and laziness.