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When you choose Herrig & Vogt, LLP, you will be working with Roseville estate planning lawyers who have 30 years of experience and who are ready to put their skill and knowledge to work in helping you create an estate plan that is ideally suited to your individual situation. One of the estate planning strategies that we most frequently recommend to our clients is creating a trust. A trust is a separate legal entity that exists independent of the estate of the person creating the trust, who is known as the trustor or grantor.
Anything that you place into a trust is thereby legally transferred out of your name and is no longer included in your personal estate. Because you no longer legally own the assets or funds in your trust, they will not be included in your estate for the purposes of probate at the time of your passing. If the value of your estate is below a certain amount as set by law, it may be possible to avoid probate entirely. Similarly, you can avoid the federal estate tax by using a trust, since whatever you have used to fund the trust will not be included in calculations of the value of your estate.
There are many specialized types of trusts used for specific situations. A qualified domestic trust, for example, is often used to get around the tax implications of inheritance when a spouse is a foreign national who has not yet attained U.S. citizenship, since a non-citizen cannot claim the estate tax exemption. You can use a special needs trust if you have an adult child who is dependent on you for financial support and you are concerned about leaving too much in an inheritance, thereby making your child ineligible to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medi-Cal and other means-tested public benefits. It is even possible to create a pet trust to provide for the material needs and care of your pets when you are no longer there to care for them yourself. The most common types of trusts, however, are revocable and irrevocable trusts.
The difference between revocable and irrevocable trusts is, as the name implies, that the latter is irrevocable, whereas the former can be revoked or modified. For this reason, many people choose revocable trusts, preferring the flexibility that they offer. If, for example, one of your children marries a spouse whom you do not trust, you can remove that child from the list of beneficiaries of the trust. Irrevocable trusts, on the other hand, offer greater tax protections and safeguards against creditors. Both types of trusts, however, allow you to retain control and possession of the assets and funds in the trust. This is possible by naming yourself as the trustee, while also naming a successor trustee to assume control of the fund upon your death or incapacity.
A Roseville probate attorney from our firm can assist you with every aspect of creating your trust, from choosing the most ideal type of trust for your unique situation, to drafting the document and making any changes as necessary. In addition to the creation of trusts, we also assist clients in Sacramento County, Placer County, El Dorado County, and other areas with the often daunting task of trust administration. If you have been appointed as a trustee, it is vital that you take measures to ensure that you are acting within the terms of the trust and do nothing that would constitute a breach of fiduciary duty. We can guide you in the execution of your duties, helping you to carry out the necessary steps in a timely and efficient manner.
Learn more about our services and get started on planning your estate by contacting us at (888) 901-8229 or online for a free case evaluation.
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