Orange County Trust Lawyer
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When you begin the process of estate planning, it is likely that you will hear trusts and the benefits of trusts discussed. A well-crafted estate plan often uses trusts to minimize the taxes on an estate. There are many ways to arrange a trust, and many ways the trust can be distributed to a beneficiary or beneficiaries in the future. The Orange County trust lawyers at Evolution Tax and Legal are here to help explain the trust formation process, how it may benefit you and your estate, and how we can help you complete the process.
Why Hire Evolution Tax and Legal To Help With Your Trust in Orange County?
At Evolution Tax and Legal, we provide a unique value proposition to all of our clients: our team is dually-certified in law and accounting, which allows us to understand both the financial and legal implications for your estate and its beneficiaries. At Evolution Tax and Legal:
- Our Orange County estate planning attorneys utilize our expertise to provide you a well-rounded estate plan, including the formation of trusts and the tapping of trustees and future distribution guidance.
- We will ensure that all your affairs are in order and all of your documents are valid and enforceable, using our legal experience to provide a level of care that a regular financial planner cannot provide.
- We can provide guidance into tax implications for you and your beneficiaries, calling on years of tax experience to understand your unique situation and determine the best option for you.
- We provide a personalized experience, working with our clients to understand them and their goals, in order to provide them with guidance that will work for the individual.
How Can an Orange County Trust Attorney Help?
While it is not required to hire an attorney to create a trust, the process can be complicated without proper guidance and it is recommended you seek professional advice before beginning the process on your own. A trust lawyer in Orange County can ensure that you and your loved ones are protected and provide sound legal advice that can likely save you money in the long run. Additionally, in complicated situations such as a parent with a special needs child or an estate owner who wants to dictate specific instructions for a trustee about distributing the assets in a trust, an attorney can provide guidance and ensure the trust is valid and protected in the future.
Common Types of Trusts
A trust is essentially a right to money or property, which is held by a third party or in a bank with a third party having control of it. There are different types of trusts, and each comes with certain implications for estate owners and beneficiaries. For more information on specific types of trusts, reach out to an Orange County trust lawyer at Evolution Tax and Legal.
A revocable trust is one of the most common types of trusts, and it is created during the lifetime of the trustmaker, and the trustmaker has the ability to alter, change or revoke the trust entirely. In a revocable trust, the trustmaker typically transfers the title of a property to the trust, serves as the initial trustee and has the ability to remove any property or assets from the trust throughout their lifetime. These are often referred to as living trusts.
A revocable trust has some downsides, as it can be accessed by the trustmakers creditors, although it is a more difficult process for creditors to access the assets in the trust. A revocable trust will typically transfer into an irrevocable trust after the death of the trustmaker, and a new trustee will be appointed for the trust.
An irrevocable trust is a trust that cannot be altered, changed or modified after its creation. Once property is transferred into the trust, it cannot be removed, even by the trustmaker.
Asset Protection Trust
An asset protection trust is designed to protect assets from the claims of future creditors. Often, asset protection trusts are set up outside of the United States, and they are meant to protect against creditor attacks. The trusts are normally structured so they are irrevocable for a number of years, and so the trustmaker is not a current beneficiary of the trust. IT is typical for the undistributed assets to be returned to the trustmaker upon termination of the trust, once the risk of a creditor attack is diminished.
A charitable trust is set up to benefit a particular charity of the trustmaker’s choice. Charitable trusts are often set up as part of an estate plan to lower or avoid the imposition of estate or gift tax.
Special Needs Trust
A special needs trust is one that is set up by an Orange County trust attorney for a beneficiary who receives aid from the government. This type of trust is designed so as not to disqualify the beneficiary from government benefits they currently receive. A special needs trust is completely legal and valid, provided the beneficiary does not control the frequency of trust distributions and does not have the power to revoke the trust. Parents of children with special needs are recommended to include this type of trust in their robust estate plan, so as to continue providing for their dependents after they are gone, without fear of disrupting the benefits they often rely on.
Tax By-Pass Trust
A tax by-pass trust is a type of trust that allows a spouse to leave money for the other spouse while limiting the amount of federal estate tax the living spouse would have to pay. A tax by-pass trust allows the surviving spouse to avoid the high tax rates that are sometimes required in a situation where remaining assets above the tax-exempt limit are taxed at a very high rate, and they can access the funds tax-free after the death of their spouse.
What Are the Benefits of a Trust?
A trust is typically recognized as an excellent way to minimize estate taxes, but there are other benefits that are worth noting as you begin your estate plan. A trust can avoid the probate process, which can be a lengthy process in which assets are gathered and used to pay off debts before being distributed among beneficiaries. With assets in a trust, beneficiaries may be able to gain access to the assets quicker than if the assets were passed along in the will and had to go through the probate process.
A trust also allows an estate’s holder to have control over their wealth, by allowing them to specify exact terms and control when and to whom the assets in the trust will be distributed. A trust also allows protection of your legacy, by protecting your assets from any creditors your heirs may be facing, or any beneficiaries who may make poor financial decisions in the future. Another benefit of a trust is the privacy it provides: a trust does not need to go through the probate process, and as such will not become a matter of public record. Certain types of trusts, such as a revocable trust, also allow for flexibility by providing the owner of an estate the ability to shift the terms of a trust agreement as needed.
Who Should Have a Trust in California?
A trust is not recommended for everyone. Those who are single, renting an apartment, have no children or no significant assets needn’t worry about creating a trust. However, those who have significant assets or property or have a spouse or children to consider should look into trust formation and decide if it could be a good option for them.
When you or your Orange County trust attorney form a living trust, you can potentially save your spouse, children or other beneficiaries a lot of money, time and complicated processes after your passing. Property that is left through a will could potentially be tied up for months after your passing in the probate process, leaving beneficiaries without access to assets or funds that they could potentially rely on for a long time. If you know that your beneficiaries will likely be relying on any property or assets after your passing, it is worth exploring putting them in a trust and ensuring they can access these funds immediately. If you hold large amounts of assets, exploring a trust could save your beneficiaries a lot of money in taxes. You can also protect your legacy by controlling how and when beneficiaries are able to access any property or assets with trust formation.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Trust Lawyer in Orange County, CA
If you are beginning to plan for your estate, a trust is an important part of your robust planning process. While the formation of a trust can be complicated, and determining the best type of trust and how to specify the terms of the trust can be even more so, seeking guidance of a seasoned Orange County trust attorney can help streamline the process. To speak with a trust lawyer today and get guidance on your personal estate planning situation, contact Evolution Tax and Legal.