Testamentary Trust Lawyer in Claremont Serving Throughout California
Protect the Future of Your Loved Ones with Testamentary Trusts
Outside of wills, trusts are arguably the most commonly utilized estate planning tools. Trusts are legal instruments that can be used for a variety of purposes, and in many cases, they can be even more useful than wills to ensure that your property passes to your loved ones in accordance with your wishes. In other instances, wills and trusts can be utilized together to minimize tax obligations, avoid creditors, and protect as much of your estate as possible.
There are several different kinds of trusts that serve different purposes. A testamentary trust is a special kind of trust that goes into effect when the grantor passes away. If you are planning for your future and the future of your family, talk to an experienced Southern California trust & estates attorney at Blasser Law to find out if a testamentary trust is right for you.
Testamentary Trust vs. Living Trust
A living trust is a trust that is created and funded during your lifetime. Living trusts allow you to transfer assets to a trust while you are alive. Because the trust technically owns those assets, those assets can be protected from probate, certain taxes, and debt collection efforts. Living trusts can be used for a variety of purposes to avoid the normal transfer of assets upon your passing. Many of those benefits depend upon whether the living trust is revocable or irrevocable.
Testamentary trusts, on the other hand, are trusts that become active only after the grantor (the person who creates the trust) passes away. Testamentary trusts are often called will trusts. Executors of an estate often create a testamentary trust after generating a last will and testament; typically, the testamentary trust is created in the will. The will goes into effect immediately upon execution, while the testamentary trust goes into effect by operation of the will after the grantor dies. In many cases, the testamentary trust will include the life insurance proceeds for the policy held on the grantor.
The terms of a testamentary trust can be changed at any time while the grantor is still alive. Once the grantor passes away and the trust goes into effect, however, the testamentary trust is irrevocable.
Should I Establish a Testamentary Trust?
Unlike a living trust, a testamentary trust won’t help you avoid estate taxes. In fact, once created, a testamentary trust is subject to income tax should it generate profit. Testamentary trusts can be useful, however, to ensure that your property is distributed to your beneficiaries in a particular manner.
Many people use testamentary trusts, for example, to ensure that assets are distributed to minor children over a set period of time rather than all at once. Others use a trust to ensure that the assets are protected, generating investment income, but not distributed until the beneficiary reaches a certain age (often 18 or 25). A testamentary trust allows you more full control of the trust’s assets after your passing, with flexibility to set the conditions of distribution.
Whether a testamentary trust makes sense for you depends upon your circumstances, your finances, and your particular desires. Call a knowledgeable testamentary trust lawyer at Blasser Law to discuss your options and whether a testamentary trust is in your best interests.
Full-Service Will & Trust Attorneys for Testamentary Trusts and More in Claremont and Los Angeles County
Get help preparing for the future of your loved ones in California by contacting a compassionate and thorough Claremont testamentary trust lawyer at Blasser Law at 877-927-2181.