The creation of a trust can provide asset protection, can protect beneficiaries, and can provide continued control over assets in case of death or incapacity. There are different types of trusts, however, and there are legal requirements involved in their creation. Those who want to use a trust as a part of their estate plan, or those who have concerns about how assets will be managed in case of incapacity or death, should consult with a legal professional for assistance.
Schomer Law is a Los Angeles law firm with extensive experience with trust creation and trust administration. We provide guidance and advice on whether a trust is right for you and we assist with the formal process of creating the right type of trust to meet your needs. We also provide assistance in administering a trust after the trust creator has passed away. Trust administration can involve the process of managing and transferring trust assets, which can be a complex process for trustees to handle after a death.
To learn more about trust creation and trust administration, contact our Los Angeles trust lawyers today. We can provide a personalized consultation and can offer answers to questions you may have including:
- What are trusts and why are they created?
- What is the trust administration process in California?
- How can a Los Angeles trust administration lawyer help you?
What are Trusts and Why Are They Created?
Trusts allow you to establish a legal separation between ownership of property and use or possession of property. The trust is a separate legal entity that you can transfer assets into so the trust becomes the owner, instead of you or your beneficiaries becoming the owner. A trustee is named to manage the trust assets for the beneficiaries. In many situations, you can serve as the trustee for your own trust; however, you will need to name a backup beneficiary to take over in case of death or incapacitation.
There are different kinds of trusts, including revocable and irrevocable trusts. Depending upon the type of trust you create, it may serve many different purposes. Some of the different reasons that trusts are created include:
- To shield assets from counting when determining Medi-Cal eligibility. If the trust owns the assets and you are not the owner, the assets may not be counted when determining if you are needy enough to qualify for Medi-Cal nursing home payments.
- To protect beneficiaries. If you wish to leave money to someone with special needs, you could put government benefits at risk. Beneficiaries may also be prone to irresponsible spending and a large gift of money could be a burden. With the creation of a trust, you can ensure that you maintain ongoing control over the money even after your death and you can ensure the gift of trust assets causes no loss or financial harm to beneficiaries.
- To ensure assets are managed correctly. You can make sure that even if you become incapacitated or pass away, your money and property are invested wisely and kept secure. The trustee you name who will manage the assets has a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of the beneficiaries at all times.
- To shield assets from creditors, bankruptcy, or divorce. When the trust owns the assets, the beneficiaries aren’t the owners- so the money can’t be taken if beneficiaries go bankrupt or get divorced.
- To help avoid probate and reduce or eliminate estate taxes. Assets that are kept in trust do not have to transfer through the probate process.
These are just some of the potential reasons why creating a trust may be a smart decision. A Los Angeles trusts lawyer at Schomer Law can review your situation, help you to determine if a trust makes sense, and assist with the technicalities of creating and funding a trust.
What is the Trust Administration Process in California?
When a trust has been created, the death of the creator can trigger the trust administration process. This process can vary depending upon the type of trust and the instructions provided when the trust was created. In general, however, trust administration involves carrying out the wishes of the deceased, managing trust property, and facilitating transfers of trust property to new rightful owners after a death.
Successfully navigating the trust administration process is key to ensuring that the wishes of the trust creator are respected and to ensuring the trustee fulfills a fiduciary duty. A Los Angeles trust administration lawyer can represent trustees or beneficiaries to ensure the trust administration process goes smoothly.
Getting Help from a Los Angeles Trusts Lawyer
Schomer Law provides invaluable assistance with all of your legal issues related to trusts. Contact our Los Angeles trusts lawyers today to learn about the personalized legal services we can offer to you.