Wills and Trusts
Why do I Need a Trust?
If you have an estate valued at more than $150,000 when you die, your estate could be subject to probate. This might be a car, a house, proceeds from a retirement account, or any other assets that, when combined, are valued at more than $150,000. This means that your estate must retain an attorney and go to court in order to pass on your estate. To make matters worse, the attorney and administrator fees vary depending on the total value of your estate and all wills are open to public scrutiny.
A trust, however, is a cost efficient way to avoid the probate process and is completely private. In essence, you transfer all of your assets into a separate legal entity (the trust) so that there are no assets in your name for the state of California to probate. Your trustee then gathers all of your assets, pays your creditors, and distributes your assets to your heirs. Additionally, you have the ability to modify, or even terminate, your trust during your lifetime. This allows you to amend your trust, add or remove assets, or change your beneficiaries as you see fit.
Trusts come in a number of types and styles, depending on your needs. Call today to speak with us about what type of trust works best for you.
Why do I Need a Will?
Wills, like trusts, allow you to make critical decisions regarding your loved ones and your property. If you have minor children, for example, you can appoint a guardian for them in your will. You can also name an executor who will be in charge of your personal obligations, such as the filing of your final tax returns. Finally, wills can help ensure that property inadvertently left out of your trust are placed in after your death and go to the right beneficiaries.
While not required, a will is a good complement to a trust and highly recommended to ensure that your wishes are heard. Call today for help in discussing your will and make sure that your legacy is protected.