Trust Attorney in Sacramento
Many of the clients at Hackard Law, A Professional Law Corporation, do not reach out to our Sacramento estate planning lawyers with the intention of creating trusts. However, after discussing their objectives and reviewing their financial situation, it becomes apparent that a trust is precisely the vehicle that they choose to achieve their goals.
When it comes to estate planning, everyone should have a will, and many people also should have a trust. Trusts are a useful way to pass assets to your heirs so they do not have to go through the expense, time, and hassle of the probate process. In addition to avoiding probate, trusts are an efficient way of providing support for a special needs child, minimizing taxes, or protecting assets from creditors. At Hackard Law, we go beyond cookie-cutter solutions and will discuss your concerns and needs so we can find the best estate planning methods for your individual situation. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation to show you how we can help, so call us today at 916-313-3030.Schedule Your Consultation Today
Our Sacramento Trust Attorney Explains Why You May Need a TrustThe major reason for needing a trust is to avoid probate. After death, California law requires that your assets and property go through probate. Unlike states that use the Uniform Probate Code to simplify the probate process, California has a complex process that can drag on and be costly. Having a trust can avoid this probate process and allow you to pass on assets such as the family home or business, investments or interests, bank accounts, personal property, collections, and other valuable property There are other ways to avoid probate in some situations. These include fast-tracking procedures for smaller estates to transfer …
- an estate with a value under $150,000, after exclusions — Cal. Prob. Code § § 13050, 13100 and following
- real estate worth less than $50,000 — Cal. Prob. Code § § 13200 to 13208.
Our Trust Attorney in California Helps You Understand How Trusts WorkWhen you set up a trust, you are called the trustor. You designate a person, called a trustee, to hold property for another person, called a beneficiary. This does not mean you lose control of your property. If you are setting up a living trust, you can make yourself the trustee and keep full control over all property held in the trust while you are alive. You also designate a successor trustee, often a spouse or a child, to handle how your property will be managed and distributed after you die. There are several types of trusts in California, and our trust attorney can help you determine which might best fit your goals for your estate.
Living TrustThis a trust you create while you’re alive, as opposed to one created at your death under the terms of your will. The beneficiaries in your living trust receive the trust property when you die without going through probate. While you are alive, you can still do what you want with the assets, such as investing or selling them, just as if the asset was not within the trust. These trusts are revocable, and you can change or terminate them at will.
Irrevocable TrustsThese trusts cannot be modified or terminated after they are finalized. They go into effect while you are alive.
Testamentary TrustsThese are trusts you make while alive that do not go into effect until after death. Trusts are basically simple agreements between you and your trustee, usually yourself. They are not public documents or recorded, so your personal information is kept confidential. While revocable living trusts are most common, there are situations where you might want to make an irrevocable trust for specific goals, like reducing taxes. Since irrevocable trusts require giving up ownership and control of property in the trust, make sure this solution is what you really want. Our will and trust attorneys at Hackard Law can help you determine whether you need a trust and which type is best for you. Call us at 916-313-3030.
When Should You Have a Will and Trust?While having a trust is important for many people, you still need a will in addition to the trust. Your will states what will happen to any assets that are not included in the trust, such as new property you acquired before you had a chance to add it to your trust. Your will can do additional things like provide a guardian for minor children. And your will can provide for someone to inherit something you don’t want to make part of the trust. If you don’t have a will or a trust when you die, California intestacy laws will determine what happens to your property. Generally, your property will go to your closest relatives in this order: to a spouse or domestic partner, then to children, parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, and then to a spouse’s surviving relatives. If there are no living relatives, your property will go to the state. If this is not the way you want your estate distributed, make sure you have a valid will and that everything you want to be part of your trust has been added to it.
How Our Trust Attorneys in Sacramento Help to Set Up Your TrustSetting up a trust is not difficult, but it must be done correctly and according to California law. Trusts may be created for any purpose that is not illegal or against public policy. California Law Division 9 states that a trust is created only if …
- You have an intention to create a trust
- There is trust property, and
- There is a beneficiary
- Choose whether to make an individual or shared trust. Couples often prefer to make one shared trust, so they don’t have to divide property they own together, such as a house and its furnishings. Also, a shared trust may be best if spouses want to leave significant trust property to each other.
- Decide what property should be part of the trust
- Choose a successor trustee to handle the trust after your death.
- Determine who will be your beneficiaries and which property each should inherit.
- Create the trust document and sign it in front of a notary public.
- Change the title of any trust property with a title document, such as your house, to show it is owned by you as trustee.
Our Trust Attorneys Will Include Considerations for Special Needs HeirsIf you have a special needs person that you wish to provide for, our attorneys can help. We will set up a trust that allows you to provide assets to a disabled beneficiary without losing eligibility for public benefits that have an asset limit, such as Supplemental Security Income and Medi-Cal.
When You Need Trust Litigation Attorneys in CaliforniaYou do not want to have your trust challenged once you set it up. However, there are reasons that can lead to trust litigation in California, that most commonly include:
- A challenger claims you were not in your right mind, did not have the mental capacity, or were under duress or undue influence when creating your trust documents.
- The trust document is not written clearly enough so that a layman, attorney and judge can all perfectly understand what your intentions were.
- Trustees did not carry out their duties properly after you died and breached their fiduciary duty.