So you recently found out that you have been named trustee to a loved one's trust. You don't think this is a big deal and that trust administration just means having your name on a legal document. However, this idea is absolutely incorrect.
A trust is a very useful estate planning document. First, estate planners can use a trust to render the probate process unnecessary for their estates. Second, trusts can be used to clearly outline who will receive specific assets, when and over what period of time. Third, since there are a lot of different types of trusts that can be molded to fit different kinds of situations, a trust can be crafted to suit virtually any kind of estate planning need.
Our furry little friends are often the best friends we will ever have in this life, and that is why we treat them so well. However, as we grow older -- and even for people who are not of retirement age -- we begin to wonder if our pets might outlive us. This raises a lot of questions, particularly, how will my dog or cat (or fish or iguana) be cared for when I am gone.
Life insurance is a common estate planning product owned by California residents. It provides estate planners with the peace of mind of knowing that their loved ones will be cared for in the event of their deaths. Life insurance can be used to support a family after the estate planner has passed, to replace his or her contributions to family income, to ensure that there is sufficient money to pay for a child's college education, or simply to pay for one's burial expenses.
When an individual dies, a lot of steps will need to be taken by the personal representative, executor or administrator of the deceased individual's estate. This article will list the steps that generally will need to be taken if you happen to be serving one of these roles on behalf of the estate.
When you are beginning to set up an estate plan, one of the terms that may come up is a charitable remainder trust. This type of trust allows the owner to convert highly appreciated securities or real estate into income for a lifetime or for a number of years. This also allows you not to have those high capital gains taxes when the asset is sold. What happens is this: the asset that has appreciated is put into an irrevocable trust that is sold by the executor or trustee. These funds are reinvested and you or your beneficiary can now receive a monthly income for the rest of your life or for a predetermined number of years.
Testamentary trusts are some of the most common kinds of trusts in estate planning, and for a very good reason. These trusts offer estate planners numerous tax-related and other benefits. Best of all, they are fairly inexpensive to create.
A living trust, or a revocable living trust, is not all that different from a will. However, it does do some things that it is impossible for a will to do. Specifically, the trust can be utilized before you pass away, whereas a will does not kick in until your death.
Trusts separate income from principal, allowing the trust instructions to distinguish between the two. This means that the trustor can instruct the fiduciary to distribute all income from the trust to a specific person and only distribute principal in certain circumstances, such as medical emergencies. This would prevent the trust from diminishing due to excessive withdrawals, ensuring that it will provide income for the rest of the beneficiary's life.
As is the case with many California residents, your pet has a special place in your life and relies on you for all of its needs. Perhaps you have wondered what would happen to your pet if you were to pass away with no one to care for it. There is a solution whereby your pet can continue to receive proper care after your death. As part of your estate planning, our attorneys can assist you in drawing up a pet trust fund in which you set aside finances for the complete care of your dog or cat.