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Santa Clarita Estate Planning Lawyers for Trusts

Donahoe & Young LLP: Nearly 100 Years of Combined Experience in Santa Clarita & Encino

A living trust – also called a revocable or inter vivos trust – is a legal document that allows your family members to avoid conservatorship in the event of your incapacity, and probate upon your death. These trusts are drafted during the lifetime of an individual and can be revoked or amended at any time. Trusts are often complex, and it can benefit you to hire a Santa Clarita estate planning attorney to help you navigate the legalities involved.

For your trust, you will name specific people that will undertake three different roles. The individual that establish the trust is known as the settlor. The person that assumes control over the trust is known as a trustee – or co-trustees in the event multiple people are named. The individuals that will benefit from the trust – typically (but not always) children and grandchildren – are known as the beneficiaries. This gives the settlor the ability to control how and when his or her assets will be distributed when they are deceased.

There are four major advantages to establishing a living trust:

  • Applicability to incapacity, as well as death
  • Cost efficiency
  • Minimal delays
  • Confidentiality

Trusts vs. Conservatorship & Probate

In the event that you become incapacitated, your business, financial, medical, and personal affairs are subject to designation to a conservator of the estate – or of the person. The process in which a conservatorship is established can become difficult and time-consuming, but with a valid, legal trust in place, your wishes are to be fulfilled, eliminating the need for these proceedings.

In the event of your death, a trust can help prevent your assets from the probate process. Probate is a long, expensive, and public process that, without a legally valid trust, distributes your assets in a manner that may not have been in your final wishes. The process includes identifying and listing all estate property, providing notices to heirs, beneficiaries, and creditors, arranging required appraisals of all non-liquid assets, and paying all debts and taxes before finally distributing the assets to the heirs and beneficiaries.

Why do I need a Santa Clarita estate planning attorney?

Many individuals are under the assumption that trusts are only beneficial or important to people that own a lot of property, are wealthy, or are old in age. This is not the case. At Donahoe & Young LLP, we can explain all of the advantages of establishing a living trust, so you can have peace of mind in knowing that your loved ones are taken care of when you are no longer able to provide for them. Our firm is dedicated to educating you about possible estate tax advantages, the negatives of probate, and the differences between a trust and a will.

For more information, or to begin drafting a solid estate plan, contact Donahoe & Young LLP for an evaluation today.