Southern California Will & Trust Attorneys
Protecting Your Family & Assets in the Case of Tragedy
While it is difficult for many to seriously think about what your loved ones’ lives would look like in the event of your death, it is necessary for their well-being. If you do not have a will or other testamentary document, your property will be distributed according to the default rules of California and your wishes will not be taken into consideration. For example, close friends will receive nothing.
Wills and trusts are useful and often necessary for the following purposes:
- Assigning guardianship of minor children
- Proper distribution of property
- Charitable contribution in your absence
- Avoiding probate and other forms of public red tape
- Maximizing your tax benefits
- Establishing the privacy of your assets
What Are the Differences Between Wills and Trusts?
Wills put down in a legally binding document your wishes for your family and for the division of your property after your death. Trusts operate quite differently and require more structure. Trusts are essentially for dividing and controlling your assets while you are living, as well as afterward. Living trusts vary in form, but most require trustees and beneficiaries – that is, those in control and those in receipt of assets.
Trusts, generally, are ideal for those with significant assets is their estate, as this simplifies and organizes the distribution of assets in a way tailored to what you and you advisors see fit. Trusts also have the power to minimize estate taxes, ensuring that you’re retaining as much wealth as possible.
Getting Started with Your Will or Trust
While it is possible to establish a will on your own, it’s important to seek legal counsel in your draft to ensure that everything is clear and according to your wishes. These documents cannot be changed post-mortem, meaning that it needs to be done correctly now in the event of your sudden death.
The same goes for trusts, as experienced, Southern California estate planning lawyers can show you the range of trust structuring options and help you execute that structure. The cost of wills and trusts start in the range of just a few hundred dollars and expand as complexity increases.
We have decades of experience in these matters and know what it takes to arrange wills and trusts true to your wishes and that organizes matters that otherwise would be impossible for your surviving family to sort out.
Call us today at (800) 996-9932 for a free consultation with our trusted, Southern California estate attorneys.