The process of estate planning involves people, assets, and the various forms of ownership and title that those assets may take. A properly designed and implemented estate plan gives you the control while helping you in the smooth transfer of your estate to the special people in your life.
The failure to plan ahead can lead to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or California Probate Courts to determine how your assets should be distributed after you pass away, not to mention the probate fees that are deducted from your estate.
At Duisters & Parvizi, we strive to bring you peace of mind by ensuring that your wishes are carried out. We recognize the unique concerns of each and every client by tailoring each plan based on your specific needs. Our firm guides you through the planning process, and provides you with the appropriate legal services, whether it be drafting a will or trust, or providing another estate planning solution.
Contact us today to find out how we can help you create your estate plan, while advising you on such issues as taxes, title to assets, and the management of your estates. Let us work together to maintain the life you have created.
Revocable Living Trust
A Revocable Living Trust serves as the centerpiece for most of our estate planning clients. Although each client’s needs are unique, a Revocable Living Trust is a flexible estate planning tool which facilitates the transfer of property when a person passes away.
The person that creates the Trust is called a “Trustor” or “Grantor”, and the person managing the Trust is called the “Trustee”. By naming yourself as the Trustee, you remain in control of your assets during your lifetime, even though your assets have been placed in a trust. The Trust instrument will provide for a successor Trustee upon your passing or in the event of incapacity.
Some benefits of Revocable Living Trust include:
- Probate Avoidance. If your estate plan includes only a Will and no Trust, or no documents at all, then your assets and liabilities will most likely pass through a court-supervised process called “Probate”. This means that your loved ones will not promptly receive the assets you intended to leave them, but instead will need to go through a very expensive and drawn-out court process.
- Privacy. A Revocable Living Trust is a private document that contains your wishes and will be carried out without court intervention. The contents of your Trust is also kept confidential and only shared with your Successor Trustees, Beneficiaries, and certain financial institutions. Without a Trust or with just a Will in place, your assets will become a matter of public record in a California Probate Proceeding. This could lead to anyone researching the assets you held at the time of your passing and interfere with the distribution of your estate.
- Control. One of the main benefits of having your assets pass to your Beneficiaries via the terms of your Trust is how you, as the Trustor, can outline exactly HOW and WHEN you want those assets to pass to your Beneficiaries. Without a Trust in place or again with just a Will, there is generally no flexibility as to how assets are transferred to your Beneficiaries. This level of customization is particularly important if minor children are involved or if some beneficiaries have special needs.
- Asset Protection. A carefully drafted Trust can provide your Beneficiaries with some asset protection against creditors.