Estate Planning Through the Use of Trusts
Many parents have plans to leave their assets, money and heirlooms to their children as heirs. Unfortunately, this does not happen automatically upon the parent’s death. Without the proper estate planning, the heirs may end up spending much of their time and money in probate court. A better alternative is avoiding probate by establishing a living trust while alive and transferring the estate assets upon the death of the parents to the heirs through trust administration, which usually does not require probate court supervision.
It is important to hire and work with an experienced trust attorney that can help put together a living trust and handle the post-death trust administration . What, exactly, is a living trust? It is a legal entity that allows an individual (the “Trustee”) to hold another person’s property (the “Settlor”) for the benefit of someone else (the “Beneficiary”). Usually the Settlor, the Trustee and the Beneficiary are the same person (the parents) while the parents are alive, and then changes to the children upon the parent’s death. The living trust is effective while the Settlor is alive and is usually revocable by the Settlor while he or she is alive so that the Settlor has full control of the assets held by the living trust during his or her lifetime. A living trust is commonly considered by trust attorneys as a “will-substitute” to transfer the estate assets to the children upon the parent’s death through private trust administration rather through a probate court proceeding, usually saving time and money.
The Best Time to Plan is Now
Creating the proper estate plan using a living trust requires a review and analysis of your particular family and financial situation and your unique planning goals and objectives. To get started, speak with an experienced trust attorney to make sure you understand your options and the best estate plan for you. To begin, contact Poniatowski Leding Parikh Law Corporation at our Castro Valley, Oakland, or Pleasanton office today at (510) 881-8700.