Top Napa County Trust Attorney
Hess-Verdon & Associates
Hess-Verdon & Associates is a caring and trusted law firm in the state of California at both the trial and appellate levels.
What does a Trust Attorney Do?
As a Trust Attorney, you focus on how to protect the legacy of a family, i.e., how the estate of a trustor passes to the loved ones (beneficiaries) after death. (Learn about how long a trust can remain open after death)
Within the type of estate planning vehicles that a Trust Attorney have at their disposal, they break into the following:
- Will and Last Testament
Within each of the two instruments above are a myriad of other protection vehicles. As an example, under the Trust hierarchy can breakdown further into the following:
One would wonder which type of Trust is best, and remember, you will never know how good your Trust holds up because once it kicks in for distributing the assets to your family members, you will be deceased. Therefore, it’s essential to work with an experienced estate planning attorney, i.e., Trust Attorney.
Now, when studying the various types of instruments to protect your estate and pass your legacy to your family, you will want to understand the differences between a Will and a Trust.
Just a quick note: There is a vast difference between a Trust and a Will! Let’s delve into what a Trust Attorney will help you understand.
Napa County Trust Attorneys Near Me
Hess-Verdon is in Newport Beach, California serving all of California residences. We have over 30 years experience in trust and estate planning law. We have helped many clients protect their estate, grow their estate, and pass it down to their loved ones through various legal instruments.
Will and Trust Attorney (trust attorney near me)
A Trust Attorney when you first meet will ask you to fill out a series of questions regarding your current family situation. Another quick note: When there are blended families, 2nd and 3rd marriages, it can open many doors to litigation as sibling rivalry is the main impetus to dispute, to name one. So, if you have had a Will or a Trust created in the past and then remarried, it behooves you to have a Trust attorney review to ensure the following:
- Are complications already set, and how to maneuver around them to keep the family from conflicts in the future.
So again, a Will and a Trust are crucial estate planning instruments for any family if you have an estate worth more than $150,000.00. If you are below that amount, a Trust is generally not needed; however, it’s still good practice to review a Will to eliminate sibling to sibling conflicts.
With all that said, is a Trust or a Will your best option? And of the types of Trusts, who will be the Successor Trustee for your Revocable and Irrevocable Trust? And, do you need an Irrevocable Trust, and what are they specifically?
What type of trust vehicle do I need?
So, when you meet a Trust Attorney, an essential aspect of the questions will revolve around reducing your estate taxes by using particular Trust instruments, e.g., a Dynasty Trust, QTIP Trust, CRUT, CRAT, and many other various acronyms. Each type has its exact purpose. Please take into consideration that an incorrect Trust type can lock up your estate for good, meaning, once you move your estate into an Irrevocable Trust, you no longer have access to it. There are benefits to irrevocable Trusts, therefore choose an experienced Trust Attorney who knows about estate planning and advanced estate planning.
In California, Trusts are the dominating type of instrument utilized in estate planning as opposed to a Will. Let’s review the Advantages and Disadvantages of a Trust and why in California, a Trust supersedes the advantage of a Will. One can even consider a will as the first stepping stone before a Trust “IF” your estate is below $150,000.00. If your estate is above $150,000.00, you will want a Trust.
The advantages of a Trust over a Will are the following:
- Keeps your estate private and out of prying eyes: Unlike a Will, a Trust is kept private and not for public viewing. This option of maintaining privacy is a crucial factor as it reduces conflicts should siblings see other siblings receiving more than another. A Will becomes a matter of public record.
- A Trust Avoids Probate: A Trust is explicitly designed to keep an estate out of probate as long as it is written correctly. The reason to stay away from probate is that it’s a court-supervised process of transferring the assets of a decedent’s ownership. A Trust does not need probate because the Trust does not die. The Trustmaker (Settlor, Trustor) has a private contract with the Trust entity.
- A Trust plans for Mental Disability: A Trust takes into account if you become mentally incapacitated, unlike a Will where a loved one will have to go to court and ask for guardianship or conservatorship. With a Trust, you are in control.
The advantages of a Trust over a Will are self-explanatory. Why would someone still choose a Will over a Trust? Unfortunately, it breaks down to the initial cost and ongoing and periodic review of the Trust instrument. Yes, it may cost more to set up a Trust than a Will, but the advantages outweigh the cost to probate a Will. Pay now or later is the gist.
Taking into consideration of a Trust versus a Will, there is a provision wherein a Trust can have a pour-over will, which states if you die and leave an estate out of the Trust, it can be “poured over” into the Trust. A Trust Attorney will review many factors, including age, health, real estate property, the possibility of contesting the estate planning vehicles, and so on, to determine which estate vehicle is best for your current situation. All in all, a Trust Attorney will guide you through the estate planning process.
Types of trusts and how an experienced Napa County trust attorney can assist
To continue the process of a Trust Attorney, you will be taught about the difference between a Revocable Trust versus an Irrevocable Trust. It’s essential to understand the differences and advantages and disadvantages of both. We will look to clarify some initial hot topics now.
Revocable Versus Irrevocable Trusts
If you live in California, it’s pretty evident that a Trust is an estate planning vehicle that is essential because an average home in California is around $400,000.00, and thus a Trust is critical. But what type of Trust do you need?
First, the main difference between a revocable trust versus an irrevocable Trust is the following:
- You, as the Grantor / Settlor, have full rights and access to the estate. You can make changes and even close the Trust.
- The assets within the revocable Trust are still in your name, so the assets are still considered your personal property. This means creditors can always go after the assets.
- You give up rights to the estate in the Irrevocable Trust.
- Irrevocable Trusts are used for asset protection.
The bottom line, it’s important to understand there are many types of Irrevocable Trusts.
Are you in need of a Trust Attorney? When selecting an attorney, you will want to make sure they have worked on several if not hundreds of the types of Trusts you need. Many people believe that once you have a Trust, it is impervious to litigation. Still, when it comes to money, blended families, sibling rivalry, family dysfunction, dispute of all types are on the rise.
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Meet Our Team
Trust & Estate Litigation
California Trust & Probate Litigation Lawyers
Are you looking for an estate litigation attorney in your area? When it comes to the practice of Trust and estates, it can be difficult finding an attorney that’s experienced in handling your specific issues.
- Can a Trustee sue on behalf of the trust
- Can a Trustee be held personally liable
- Can a Trustee remove a Beneficiary from a trust
- Settling a Trust After Death
- Being a Trustee of a Trust
Request a Case Review Today Call us at 949-706-7300CRT Attorney California Charitable Remainder Trust Calculator A charitable remainder trust (CRT) is an irrevocable trust, meaning it cannot be modified or terminated without the beneficiary's permission....
- Charitable Remainder Trust (CRT)
- Grantor Retained Annuity Trust
- Intentionally Defective Grantor Trust (IDGT)
An experienced estate planning lawyer can help you plan your estate; they will look into your financial situation, family needs and advise on a suitable plan. They will also help with the preparation of documents to protect your assets against taxes and lawsuits. These include titles, last will and testament, power of attorney, advance directives, and living will and trusts.
Types of Trusts one can Choose
Learning Center: How a Trust Attorney Can Protect Your Legal Rights
- Irrevocable Trust Disadvantages
- What you should know if contesting a trust
- Being a Trustee of a Trust
What are some reasons a family trust can be contested?
A Family Trust, which includes a revocable and irrevocable Trusts are contestable. When the Successor Trustee has taken over, there is an allotted time that beneficiaries have to contest the Trust. Make sure you are within your time limits to fight the Trust. A Trust Attorney can help you, at a minimum, understand your next few steps. It’s highly advisable to be “reasonable” throughout the process to ensure you stay on the right side of the courts.
With over 30+ years of law, 3000+ clients throughout our tenure,
you can receive in-depth legal counsel today.
City County links (coming soon)
Request a Case Review Today Call us at 949-706-7300Trustee Accounting Trust Law says that Trustee accounting is the Trustee's fiduciary duty to keep beneficiaries up-to-date about the "terms" of the Trust. This includes, but is not limited to, any instructions,...
Request a Case Review Today Call us at 949-706-7300My Father Left Everything to My Stepmother If your father remarried but hadn't written a will before his untimely passing, the Estate will be divided per inheritance laws called intestate rules. Under these...
Request a Case Review Today Call us at 949-706-7300Step-up Basis at Death for Revocable and Irrevocable Trusts A step-up in basis refers to the appraisal of appreciated assets' value in a trust to inform taxation upon inheritance. Usually, what is considered...