Trusts are useful documents that can protect your assets from potential lawsuits and creditors and, perhaps more importantly, help you avoid the probate process for items within the trust. However, there are numerous types of trusts in California such as:
- Revocable Living Trust
- Irrevocable Trust
- Charitable Trust
- Life Insurance Trust
- Marital Trust
- Special Needs Trust
- Minor’s Trust
- Testamentary Trust
Each type of trust serves a particular use, and an attorney who specializes in trust documents can advise you which, if any, are the most appropriate for your goals. It’s important to make sure that you select the appropriate trust based on your wishes and that the trust is kept up to date with any estate plan that you may have. This can help ensure that your assets are distributed according to your desires and reduce the stress and uncertainty faced by your beneficiaries.
A will is a distinct document from a trust. A will is the legal expression of an individual’s wishes about the distribution of their property after their death. In California, and within the United States as a whole, a will must be written and composed a certain way to be enforceable. In addition to distributing property, a will can also contain provisions for naming a guardian for any minor or disabled children, naming an executor of an estate, providing for pets, and acting as a supporting document for a living trust.
Wills, like trusts, must be created and executed correctly. If they are not, a court may find that the document is invalid and your wishes may be ignored. If you pass without any legally enforceable wishes, your assets will be divided according to California law, which may be contrary to your actual wishes. This can be avoided by consulting an experienced attorney about how to best record your wishes. Call (209) 544-1117 to schedule an appointment with our office today.