Trust Creation, Administration & Litigation
Let a California Estate Planning Attorney Assist You with Trust Planning and Administration
Establishing a revocable living trust can help you maintain control of your assets during your lifetime, and will ensure that a qualified representative of your choosing will continue the chain of control in the event that you become incapacitated or pass away. Revocable living trusts go hand in hand with wills, and a California estate planning attorney at the Evans Law Firm, Inc., a San Francisco elder law, estate and trust law firm, recommend that their clients set up both, to better outline their future plans for their assets, finances, and affairs.
At the Evans Law Firm, we specialize in designing trusts that encompass all of your needs, keeping up-to-date with the latest state laws, requirements, and allowances. Your future plans should incorporate everything and everyone important in your life, and we want to help you articulate exactly how everything should be handled.
Common trusts for our clients include:
- Irrevocable Trusts
- Life Insurance Trusts
- Revocable or Living Trusts
- Retirement Trusts
- Minors’ Trusts
- Charitable Trusts
- Dynasty Trusts
- Exemption Trusts
- Pet Trusts
- Special Needs Trusts
At our Los Angeles and San Francisco living trust law firm, we will sit down with you and discuss these and several other options available to you in establishing your trust, and work with you to determine which trust will work best for your situation and your needs. Having a trust in place will give you financial peace of mind, knowing that you have taken control of your life and your future, no matter what it holds.
Estate Planning with a Trust
Estate planning is the process of anticipating and arranging for the disposal of an estate. Estate planning typically attempts to eliminate uncertainties over the administration of a probate and maximize the value of the estate by reducing taxes and other expenses. Guardians are often designated for minor children and beneficiaries in incapacity. Your California estate planning attorney will explain all your options to you and you can decide if a trust will best protect your interests.
Can I Establish a Trust While Still Living?
The most common type of trust to establish, especially while you are still in good health, is a revocable living trust. With a revocable living trust, you are able to make changes and adjust the trust terms as you need to, or dissolve it altogether if necessary. This type of trust allows you to accommodate unexpected changes in your financial situation, the addition or loss of family members and loved ones, and your changing needs as you grow older. As you accumulate more wealth and financial worth, your assets in your trust will grow as well. A revocable living trust also allows for the separation and division of assets, which is particularly useful for married couples.
Creating a living trust typically allows you to avoid probate, which could be time-consuming and draining on your estate and heirs. Probate also puts your assets and affairs in the public eye, and many people find that this is intrusive and tends to cause a more lengthy and drawn-out process. A trust can also eliminate the potential for relatives and family members to challenge your will, should they disagree with any part of it, and if you are not able to enforce your wishes.
Trust Administration with the Evans Law Firm
After the death of the trustor (who is the person who created the trust), certain steps must be taken to comply with state law, to preserve the federal estate tax exclusion amount and to change title to assets. This is called “trust administration,” and the complexity of the administration depends on the number and type of assets, their total value and whether the trust includes tax-planning provisions.
Experienced Guidance on Asset Distribution with a Trust
If a decedent had a properly drafted and funded trust, probate is generally not required. Unlike a will, a trust is a private document and need not be filed with the probate court.
Nonetheless, the successor trustee must still take steps to administer the trust:
- Beneficiaries must be contacted and kept informed
- The trust-maker’s assets gathered and invested
- Any debts paid; potential creditors notified
- Taxes filed and paid
- Assets and/or income distributed in conformity with trust provisions to beneficiaries, etc.
Each California estate planning attorney at our firm is able to provide guidance on questions that arise during trust administration.
A California Estate Planning Attorney at Our Firm Can Also Assist with Trust Litigation
In addition to trust administration guidance, we also represent clients in the Bay Area and throughout California in trust litigation when disputes regarding asset distribution arise. Please call 415-441-8669 or contact our estate planning lawyers to schedule a free initial consultation regarding all of your trust options.