If you’re looking to protect your assets and ensure that your loved ones are taken care of, consider creating a trust or will – or both. If you pass away without a will or trust in place, your family may have to go through probate—a legal process that can be time-consuming and expensive. A will can help you determine how your assets will be distributed after you die, and a trust can avoid probate altogether. At Martin Family Law Group, our Los Angeles will & trust attorneys are ready to assist you with planning for your future. Call (310) 694-9533 today to schedule a free consultation.
What is a Will?
A will is a document that sets out your wishes for what should happen to your property and possessions after you die. It lets you choose who will inherit your estate and take care of any minor children. You can also use your will to express any final wishes regarding your funeral arrangements.
A will only comes into effect after you die, so it cannot be used to deal with any property or financial matters while you are alive. For example, if you want to give someone specific items from your estate while you are alive (such as a piece of jewelry or furniture), you need to do this through a separate legal document.
What is a Trust?
A trust is an arrangement in which one person, called the trustee, holds legal title to the property for another person, called the beneficiary. The trustee may be an individual, a corporation, or sometimes even a government entity. The beneficiary may be an individual, a group of people, or a charitable organization.
The trustee has a fiduciary duty to the beneficiary, which means that the trustee must manage the trust property in the best interests of the beneficiary.
There are many different types of trusts, but they can all be divided into two basic categories: testamentary trusts and living trusts.
A testamentary trust only comes into existence when the person who created the trust—the testator—dies. Testamentary trusts are usually used to provide for minor children or disabled adults.
A living trust is created during the lifetime of the person who creates the trust—the grantor. The grantor transfers ownership of his or her property to the trustee, who then holds and manages the property for the benefit of the grantor during his or her lifetime and for the benefit of the beneficiaries after their death.
Revocable vs. Irrevocable Trusts
The two primary types of living trusts are revocable and irrevocable. A revocable trust can be modified or dissolved at any time by the grantor—the person who creates the trust. This flexibility makes revocable trusts appealing to many people, but it also means that the assets in the trust are subject to creditors’ claims and can be counted as part of the grantor’s estate for estate tax purposes.
An irrevocable trust, on the other hand, is a type of trust that cannot be modified or dissolved after it has been created. This may seem like a drawback, but it also means that the assets in the trust are protected from creditors’ claims and are not counted as part of the grantor’s estate for estate tax purposes.
Why Hire The Martin Family Law Group?
The laws surrounding family law can be complex, and it can be difficult to navigate them without the help of a professional. The experienced attorneys at The Martin Family Law Group will:
Explain the relevant laws to you and help you understand how they apply to your case. This will allow you to make informed decisions about your case and give you the best chance of getting the outcome you desire.
Offer you a free consultation to discuss your matter.
Keep you updated about your case and answer any questions you have along the way.
We take pride in getting our clients the results they need and deserve. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.