Wills and Trusts

WILLS

youngboyA will is a legal instrument that only takes effect upon your death. A will directs who gets your property after you die and who will be the executor of your estate. A professionally drafted Will can insure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes. Without a will your estate will be distributed according to the California Probate Statutes. For the Will to be implemented, it usually will have to go through a court supervised probate. Probate is a public proceeding that can span from nine months to several years to complete.

What A Will Can Do:

- Who will manage (administer) your estate
- The guardian for your minor children
- A testamentary trust

A Will Does Not Cover:
- Joint tenancy assets
- Life insurance and retirement plans
- Assets held in a trust


TRUSTS

Like a will, a trust controls who will inherit your property after your death. In addition, a trust also allows for the management of your assets during your lifetime if you should become incapacitated and may serve to avoid a conservatorship.

You do not loose control of your assets by creating a trust. You direct who the trustees (managers) will be and how your assets are to be managed. Within the trust you also have the ability to provide for your beneficiaries in whatever manner you direct. For example, you are able to design the trust to allow for periodic payments to beneficiaries, ongoing gifts, life-time support, etc.

In most cases a trust is not subject to probate or other court proceedings. This allows your personal affairs to remain private, and only disclosed to those individuals named in the trust.

In conjunction with the proper powers of attorney, a trust can help to avoid court supervised guardianships and conservatorships.