Transferring property to another party is one of the primary functions of an effective estate plan. In traditional plans, the most common way to accomplish this is to create a will. However, modern estate planning options often use trusts as a simpler and more flexible way to move property between parties.
Trusts offer many advantages over wills, as a knowledgeable trusts and estates attorney could explain. For instance, this document may go into effect at any time. In addition, parties can gain significant tax advantages by using trusts and may even make themselves eligible for government benefit programs. A Tustin trusts lawyer could help you decide if this type of document fits into your estate plan. If so, our team could create legal documents that carry the intended effect and help to make your goals a reality.
What is the Purpose of a Trust?
A trust is a way for one party to transfer control over property to another. According to the California Probate Code § 15200, parties may create a trust by placing property under the control of a trustee or by a trustee declaring that they hold property under a trust.
The trustee keeps the property safe and gives it to another party at a designated time. This time may be a concrete date in the future or upon the grantor’s death. A trustee may be an individual, an organization, or an attorney. A Tustin attorney could provide more information about the process of creating a trust and how they function.
How Does a Trust Differ from a Will?
A key question that we often hear concerns how a trust differs from a will. While they may serve the same key function by transferring property upon a person’s death, a trust offers many other benefits.
The most significant difference between a trust and a will is that a trust allows you to avoid probate. If you only have a will, your assets must still go through the expensive and long process of obtaining court approval through probate. Another key benefit to creating a trust is timing. At any point, any adult may create this document and place property under the control of a trustee. By contrast, a will only carries a legal effect upon a testator’s death. Similarly, beneficiaries of trusts may receive property at any point in the future, not just the grantor’s death. You can also designate how your beneficiary will receive your asset, either immediately upon your passing, upon turning a certain age, or upon obtaining a milestone like graduating college. A Tustin lawyer could help people identify their goals and determine if a trust may serve as a way to achieve those goals.
Contact a Tustin Trusts Attorney Today to Learn More
Trusts offer a flexible and convenient way to transfer property from one party to another. At the same time, they may offer you significant tax advantages and be part of a long-term plan for retirement or if the need for nursing care arrives in the future.
However, forming a trust that serves your intended purpose can be difficult. It requires knowledge of the law as well as specific language that meets the legal requirements. Fortunately, a Tustin trusts lawyer from our firm could help. We could work with you to determine if this is the right option and draft documents that carry out your wishes. Reach out to our firm today to discuss your options.