Irvine Trusts and Estate Planning Lawyer

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Many people know that wills are important, but trusts are also essential tools in estate planning. A trust-based plan serves several purposes, including transferring property at any time, avoiding probate, minimizing tax liabilities, planning for incapacity, and protecting assets.

OC Wills & Trust Attorneys assist clients from all walks of life, including middle-income earners and high-net-worth individuals, with establishing trusts. When you become our client, we can help set up trusts and estate planning tailored to your unique needs. Contact our office today to set up an appointment. We serve clients in Irvine, Huntington Beach, and Orange County.

What Is A Trust?

A trust is a legal arrangement in which property is held by one party for the benefit of another. A trust is created by the owner, referred to as the “settlor” or “trustor” who transfers property to the trustee, an individual chosen to manage the designated funds for the trust’s beneficiaries. It is possible to establish a trust provision within a will to provide for underage beneficiaries, known as a testamentary trust, but stand-alone trusts can be created for a variety of objectives. 

How Trusts and Estate Planning Protect You, Your Family, and Your Assets

Because of the variety of types of trusts, and the complexities of each, working with a skilled trust attorney is essential. At OC Wills & Trust Attorneys, we can help explore options that best suit circumstances, such as:

Revocable Living Trusts

A revocable living trust takes ownership of your property but allows you to continue managing it. As the name implies, this type of trust can be altered, modified, or revoked throughout your lifetime. When you die, the revocable trust becomes irrevocable, and the trust property will be transferred to your beneficiaries.

The main purpose of a revocable trust is to avoid probate in situations where it might be complicated, for example, owning multiple properties. Moreover, this arrangement can maintain your privacy since trusts are not public documents.

Irrevocable Trusts

An irrevocable trust becomes effective during the settlor’s lifetime and cannot be amended, modified, or revoked. The settlor relinquishes ownership of the property, which remains in the trust permanently and is not subject to estate taxes. Additionally, an irrevocable trust appoints a trustee who manages the assets for the beneficiaries. Examples of irrevocable trusts include trusts for minors, special needs trusts, and charitable trusts.

Trusts for Minors 

Trusts for minors protect the welfare of minor children until they reach adulthood. Some provide for a child’s health, education, maintenance, and support during childhood. Others stipulate that funds can only be distributed to the child when they reach a specific age or achieve a particular goal, like graduating college. 

Special Needs Trusts

A special needs or supplemental trust provides for a disabled child or adult who may also be the recipient of government benefits such as Social Security Disability or Medicaid. An inheritance may disqualify a special needs individual from these benefits, but setting up a trust will preserve their eligibility. A trustee is appointed to manage the trust assets and provide for the beneficiary’s basic needs, such as educational and recreational activities, physical rehabilitation, medications not covered by benefits, special dietary needs, and vacations.

Marital Trusts

Married A-B Trusts, or bypass trusts, are designed for married couples with substantial estates. This estate planning tool allows spouses to combine their exemptions for use by either individual. When one spouse dies, their property is transferred into an irrevocable trust for the benefit of the surviving spouse. They can use income from the trust property, which does not become part of their estate and is not subject to estate taxes.

Charitable Trusts

These trusts allow you to leave a charitable legacy. For example, in a charitable remainder trust, you provide income to a beneficiary, such as a spouse, for a set time, and the remaining assets go to a charity of your choosing. 

Spendthrift Trusts

Spendthrift trusts protect beneficiaries who are incapable of managing money or are at risk of creditor claims. The trust appoints an independent trustee who manages the trust assets, pays the beneficiary’s expenses, and distributes funds to the beneficiary.

Trusts and Estate Planning For High Net-Worth Individuals in California

Our legal team works with high-net-worth individuals to establish trusts that serve as wealth-preservation tools, such as:

  • Dynasty trusts
  • Irrevocable life insurance trusts
  • IRA trusts
  • Gift trusts
  • Grantor-retained annuity /unit trusts
  • Qualified personal residence trusts
  • Spousal lifetime access trusts

You can depend on our knowledgeable trusts and estate attorneys to establish a plan that preserves your legacy for future generations. 

Contact Our Experienced Trusts and Estate Planning Attorney

Trusts can help to protect your assets and provide for loved ones. Working with our capable trust attorneys will help you confidently plan your financial future. Contact our office today to get started.