You have spent your lifetime gathering assets, and you want to ensure they go to your loved ones when you pass away. You can maintain control of your wealth today and provide for your loved ones in the future with a trust. A trust attorney can help you create a list of your assets, transfer them to a trust, and set the trust’s terms. You can then continue to benefit from your assets today while knowing your family will be protected in the future.
R. Dustin MacFarlane of California Probate and Trust, PC has helped countless men and women create trusts. You can begin the process by setting up a Family Legacy Planning Session. This 60-minute strategy session will go over your options, including funding a trust.
You need to make sure your trust is fully funded. Your attorney will help you navigate the process of choosing your assets and funding the trust.
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Looking for a "trust attorney near me?" A trust attorney can help estates avoid probate. Probate is a public process, so many families prefer to bypass it. It is also quite expensive. California law sets the statutory probate fees. This refers to the maximum amount personal representatives and attorneys can charge. Attorneys and representatives can charge up to 4 percent for the first $100,000 in probate. The fees go down as the amount increases. However, the court can decide the statutory fees if your estate is valued at more than $25 million. The high fees mean that your loved ones can end up spending thousands of dollars if you go through probate. Fortunately, using a trust can keep your estate out of probate.
Your trust attorney will help you fund your trust. However, if you don’t list all of the assets, they won’t go into the trust. You can protect your estate by having your trust attorney create a pour-over will. This document will allow the executor to transition any remaining property into the trust after your death. If you’ve accidentally left property out, the executor can add it to the trust as long as you create this document. Because the assets weren’t in the trust at the time of death, they will go through probate. Then, the executor can transfer and distribute them based on the terms of the trust. Ideally, you won’t leave any items out of the trust, and the pour-over will won’t be needed. However, it’s a powerful safety net to include in your estate plan in case you accidentally omit property.
Your trust attorney can help you create a revocable living trust as opposed to an irrevocable trust. A revocable trust allows you to change the terms of the trust if you wish. You have the option of removing or adding beneficiaries, changing how the assets are distributed, and more. As long as you are of sound mind, you can make the changes during your lifetime. Many California residents enjoy the control a revocable trust provides.
You also have the option of creating an irrevocable trust. You can only modify such a trust if you meet specific criteria determined by California law. There are some benefits of choosing an irrevocable trust. The trust is protected from creditors, meaning the assets are safe from legal judgments. The estate also won’t be subject to federal estate taxes if the assets are held in an irrevocable trust. Your California trust attorney can help you decide which option to choose.