Like a will, a trust provides for distribution of your assets to beneficiaries of your choosing. However, a trust has the ability to incorporate more features than are generally possible in a will. The “settlor,” the person setting up the trust, can exercise a great deal of control over the future distributions by naming a trustee who will pay out trust income or principal at specific intervals or for specific purposes. Beneficiaries’ distributions can also be protected from creditors.
Many people request trusts in order to avoid probate on trust assets, an expensive and time consuming process in California. Additionally, a trust provides for your possible incapacity by naming a trustee to manage your affairs in the event you become incapacitated.
There are many other types of trusts: special needs trusts, life insurance trusts, charitable trusts and more. Each trust has a specific purpose and structure. Talk to me about what your needs are.