When a trust is irrevocable, you might think it can't be changed — even if it contains drafting errors or becomes ineffective or obsolete due to changing tax laws or family circumstances. Or can it? Actually, through a process known as decanting, many irrevocable trusts may be "fixed," when trustees deem it necessary. Power to Pour In common parlance, decanting is pouring … [Read more...] about Decanting May Allow Trustees to Fix a Damaged Trust
Which is the right Trust for you and your family? One of the key goals of estate and Trust planning is to avoid federal estate taxes. Careful estate planning can eliminate a significant estate tax burden for surviving spouses and their beneficiaries. Any of the Trusts below can be useful tools in preserving an estate's assets. But which Living Trust is right for you? Credit Shelter Trusts (A/B … [Read more...] about What Type of Living Trust Should I Have?
Definition of a “Grantor, Settlor, or Trustor” of a Trust These terms are often interchangeable. The Grantor, Settlor, or Trustor of a trust decides how the trust will operate, including: what property to include in the trust, who the beneficiaries will be and how beneficiaries will receive their inheritance. When the trust is revocable (i.e. can be changed or terminated until the grantor dies), … [Read more...] about Definition of a “Grantor, Settlor, or Trustor” of a Trust
Is My A/B Trust Obsolete? A revocable living trust is a valuable tool to protect and preserve your assets both for you, your children and future generations. A living trust can help you avoid the unnecessary costs and delays associated with Probate and can help you minimize or avoid estate and inheritance taxes. Like any plan, your living trust should be reviewed periodically to ensure that … [Read more...] about Living Trusts Created Prior to 2011. Is My A/B Trust Obsolete?
Is Your Home Properly Titled to Your Living Trust After You Refinance? For most people their most valuable asset is their home. Ensuring that your home and the rest of your estate passes efficiently to your heirs is a fundamental reason people create a Living Trust. Most people recognize they must transfer title to their home to their Trust as soon as the Trust is created. Unfortunately, most … [Read more...] about Refinancing Your Home – The Biggest Threat to Your Living Trust
Your last Will and Testament is essentially your instructions to the Probate Court as to how you would like your estate distributed. When you die and your will is submitted to the court, a probate case is opened. As with any legal case brought before the court, it becomes a matter of public record. Most families don’t choose to share their personal and financial matters with the world while … [Read more...] about Are All Wills a Matter of Public Record?
This seems to be a very common question. Many clients assume that they, are and ask how they are supposed to go about recording them. The answer in fact is the opposite. Living Trusts are not required to be recorded, are not designed to be recorded and in nearly all circumstances should not be recorded. One of the benefits of having a living trust is to ensure privacy by avoiding the public … [Read more...] about Is a Living Trust a Public Record?
Most, but not all grantor trusts are revocable, but all revocable living trusts are grantor trusts. Generally speaking, a grantor trust status does not hinge on whether a trust is revocable or irrevocable, but whether the grantor is responsible, in whole or in part for taxes on the income produced by the trust assets. There are a number of myriad features of grantor trusts, but this is its … [Read more...] about Are All Grantor Trusts Revocable?
One of the defining features of an Irrevocable Trust is that it cannot be amended, either at it’s outset, or at the occurrence of a specified event, such as the death of the Grantor. Sometimes an irrevocable trust contains the ability for it to be modified through the use of a power of appointment. A power of appointment is a specific power granted usually to a surviving spouse or a … [Read more...] about Can An Irrevocable Trust Be Amended?
Only a Trust Avoids the Probate Process In California, a probate process will need to be initiated in order to administer the estate if the decedent passed with no estate planning at all or only a Will. Probate is a Court-Supervised process that involves a 6-9 month minimum process (more often 15 months or more) in order to properly transfer assets from a decent to beneficiaries. Please … [Read more...] about Administering an Estate through Probate With or Without a Will