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The Probate Guy Trusted. Recommended. Successful.
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Riverside Trust Lawyer

Privacy and efficiency are the two primary benefits of a trust. Items which pass via a will become public record. So, if your estate contains rare collectibles or other such items, anyone could easily find out about them. Furthermore, trusts effectively bypass the probate process. They are separate from the property in the decedent’s estate. So, they pass according to the terms of the trust and not the terms of the will.

Efficiency and privacy are also two of the core values for the Riverside trust lawyers at The Probate Guy. In terms of efficiency, we quickly evaluate your situation and recommend some appropriate trust vehicles. However, we never rush you through this process and we always give our clients the final say-so. Furthermore, all conversations with your lawyer are confidential. So, you have absolute freedom to list all your concerns and desires.

General Types of Trusts

Basically, trusts are either revocable or irrevocable. Revocable trusts are also known as living or inter vivos trusts. The settlor (person who makes the trust) can add or subtract from the corpus (property in the trust) at almost any time. So, revocable trusts offer a great deal of control. Additionally, the settlor and trustee (person who manages the trust) is usually the same person. Therefore, in many cases, revocable trusts transfer title in name only.

That seemingly minor technicality makes a big difference. Since the settlor doesn’t legally own the property, it’s easier to shield this property from lawsuit creditors and general creditors.

Joint trusts are an offshoot of revocable trusts. Spouses are co-trustees. If one spouse dies, the other spouse automatically becomes the sole trustee. Things are a bit more uncertain if the spouses divorce.

Irrevocable trusts are, wait for it, irrevocable. Once the settlor establishes the terms, they cannot be changed.

At first blush, an irrevocable trust might seem like a horrible idea. But the aforementioned creditor protections are much stronger for irrevocable trusts. Therefore, doctors, lawyers, and other professionals in high-litigation occupations often opt for the added protection. Irrevocable trusts are also low-maintenance trusts. Once the trust documents are in place, you can file it and forget it.

Specific Types of Trusts in California

Since there are many different types of families in California with many different needs, California law recognizes a number of different trusts, such as:

  • Testamentary Trust: The most basic kind of trust is inside a will. The trust activates when the executor probates the will. These trusts have some financial benefits. Furthermore, they are very low maintenance. However, since they are part of a will, these benefits are limited.
  • AB Trust: These trusts, which are similar to the aforementioned joint trusts, are essentially two trusts in one. When one spouse dies, the A trust belongs to the survivor and the B trust belongs to the decedent. So, estate taxes are deferred until the second spouse dies.
  • QTIP Trust: In a Qualified Terminable Interest Property trust, the income from the property in a trust, like a rental home, goes to a surviving spouse, but the asset itself remains in trust. When the second spouse dies, the asset goes to the survivors.

Special needs and charitable remainder trusts are very popular as well. SNTs are ideal for beneficiaries with severe disabilities. They have access to the corpus without sacrificing their eligibility for government benefits. CRTs allow you to use property freely during your lifetime and then donate it to charity. There are minimal capital gains and other taxes.

Contact a Dedicated Orange County Lawyer

Trusts ensure that more of your assets reach the beneficiaries they are intended to help. For a free consultation with an experienced Riverside trust lawyer, contact the Law Offices of Robert L. Cohen. Convenient payment plans are available.

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