The creation of a well-planned trust saves heirs and beneficiaries thousands of dollars or more when it is time to distribute properties, assets, and bequest, saving the expense of unnecessary estate fees, taxes, penalties and probate expenses. Avoiding probate and unnecessary taxes and fees are primary reasons most adults opt to create trusts. However, trusts can be set up in a multitude of ways, depending on your family structure, preferred heirs and beneficiaries, and your estate’s net worth.
Contrary to what pop culture may have taught you, multi-millionaires aren’t the only ones who benefit from a well-planned estate, including a revocable and/or irrevocable trusts. The Alameda trust attorneys at Tseng Law Firm are dedicated to teasing out all of the details of your estate so we can create a single trust, or multiple trusts, that provide financial benefit to your legacy in the present – as well as down the road.
Contact Tseng Law Firm to learn more about how a trust will benefit you, or to schedule a brief, free consultation to help you organize the documents and information you’ll need for your first trust and estate planning consultation.
Know you’re ready to create a thorough and legal trust for you and your family? We’ll work with you to outline the tenets of solid trust, and then process each step with you as we draft the final trust documents.
Benefits of Making Trusts Part of Your Estate Plan
Most estate planning begins with the establishment of a will. As a result, the terms “will” and “trust” are mistakenly used interchangeably. Unlike a trust, the will stands on its own and is executed by the named executor or administrator, a probate attorney, or the probate court in the county and state where the deceased died. In contrast, trusts are administered by the trustee(s) (who can be you and/or someone else you designate as such) and are typically structured to avoid the probate process altogether, whenever possible.
In addition to bypassing probate, trusts provide additional benefits such as:
- Wealth management. Your trust determines who is entitled to what portion of your trust and when. For example, you can specify specific amounts to be distributed when a child/grandchild reaches a certain age or milestone, or determine specific intervals for wealth disbursement. You may also want to consider higher education trusts, which are tax-sheltered trusts to be used by beneficiaries for college, university and other, qualifying institutions of higher learning.
- Protect beneficiaries. Similarly, you can set up your trust to protect beneficiaries from themselves, ensuring your wealth isn’t inadvertently squandered by an heir or beneficiary with money management issues, or by their failure to attend to certain tax laws.
- Probate privacy, as well as financial savings. Anything that moves through probate becomes a matter of public record. Establishing your legal trust ensures your estate and its heirs/beneficiaries retain their privacy. As referenced before, it’s a rare occasion that establishing trust doesn’t save you or your beneficiaries in terms of taxes and fees when it’s time to execute the trust’s instructions.
- Legal protection. Unfortunately, scenarios, where family or loved ones contest the will or trust, are common – typically using reasons such as the deceased was not in his/her sound mind or was under duress when the trust was created. Having your trust drawn up with experienced and conscientious Alameda trust attorneys protects your intentions, and prevents heirs/beneficiaries, from winding up in emotionally challenging estate litigation.
Estate Planning Attorneys Help You Establish Which Trust(s) is Best
Trusts are not one-size-fits-all. Instead, we review your personal, financial and professional portfolios and create trusts accordingly. Some of the most common trusts we create for clients include:
- Marital Trust (A Trust)
- Bypass Trust (B Trust)
- Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT)
- Charitable Lead Trust
- Qualified Terminable Interest Property Trust (QTIP Trust)
- Testamentary Trust
- Grantor-Retained Annuity Trust (GRAT)
- Charitable Remainder Trust
- Generation-Skipping Trust
- Revocable Trusts
- Irrevocable Trusts
As you can imagine, each of these various trusts has specific requirements, guidelines, and benefits. After reviewing your estate, your trust attorney will be able to help you determine which trust(s) make the most sense for you.
Your Trust is a Living Document
Remember that trusts are considered living documents. Once a trust is established and the documents are on file with us, you can contact us anytime to go over the original trust, making any adjustments, changes or modifications necessary to keep it relevant to your current intentions and lifestyle. These revisions are essential when faced with major life transitions or changes, such as divorce, a new marriage, a death in the family, any changes regarding preferred trustees), etc.
Tseng Law Firm – Alameda’s Finest Trust Lawyers
Are you looking for down-to-earth, family-friendly trust attorneys who keep things as honest and simple as possible? Contact the estate planning team at Tseng Law Firm at (510) 835-3090. We’re dedicated to creating individual or family trusts and estate plans that are wholly focused on what’s best for our clients today, tomorrow and in the future.