Establishing a living trust may be the single, wisest step that can be taken to protect assets and insure their future. The degree of control that a trust can provide makes them an excellent instrument, even for single people, no matter the size of your estate.
An experienced and qualified California tax attorney or California estate professional can assist you in creating a living trust that is designed with your particular plans and conditions in mind. Every person, every family, has a unique profile and specific plans for the future, and there is a wide assortment of provisions that need to be considered when a trust is established.
Even the most common type of trust, where the family's assets pass to a surviving spouse upon the death of the first and then to children or grandchildren upon the death of the second, involves more than signing a sheet of paper. With the assistance of someone familiar with tax law, the process can be less intimidating, and the trust can be constructed precisely to fit your needs.
While all living trusts of any particular type have common elements and legal standings, the provisions that form the framework of the trust make each one unique. The individual aspects of each estate, as well as the plans for its survival, require that a great deal of care is taken when a living trust is first established. Maintaining the trust, too, means attention needs to be taken since a living trust is not a "file and forget" way of handling asset retention.
Whether a traditional A-B Trust best fits your particular financial needs or a more-involved ILIT trust or one including pour-over provisions will best make your plans a solid reality can be discussed with a California tax professional. Living trusts solve a number of concerns, not the least of which is the exposure of assets to the Federal Estate Tax, but care and solid advice are needed to create and sustain them.