When it is time to plan for the passing of funds and property to others, many people wonder about their options for doing so. Some choose a will, but another option to transfer assets is the trust. Trusts are documents that can help a person determine how and to whom certain assets are disbursed, and they also have specific benefits for those California residents who choose to create one.
A trust comes with several benefits, the main one being that it allows a person to choose where assets go and when the beneficiaries can access them. A trust can also pass those benefits quickly and privately, as opposed to the public probate process that a will must undergo. The trust can even possibly save court fees and estate taxes for the heirs.
Several types of trusts exist, and those trusts can also be revocable or irrevocable. A revocable trust can be altered during the lifetime of the trustee as needed, but an irrevocable trust is permanent. Some structures are designed for spouses, and some trusts are designed for families and charities to share. A credit shelter trust can have tax benefits for the surviving spouse. Each person will determine the needs and preferences for his or her own specific situation.
A person who has accumulated assets will likely want to form the best strategy for sharing them. Most people want to transfer assets while minimizing risk and loss from taxation. In California, many people entering the estate planning process choose to use the services of an experienced attorney for help with their individualized needs.
Source: Bankrate.com, “What Is A Trust“, Jan. 9, 2018