In creating your will, it was probably relatively simple to gather together all of your assets and spell out how you wish for them to be transferred after you pass away. However, if you are setting up a trust this will involve some more steps than simply a will.
You will need to create a trust document as the first stage of this process. An estate planning lawyer can assist you with drafting a trust document that falls in line with your individual goals and state laws. Within the document you must name a trustee who oversees that trust for you. If the trust is revocable, you can also serve as the trustee and name successor trustees who will follow you.
For an irrevocable trust, however, you’ll need to name another person as the trustee. The trustee has a very important role as a fiduciary, meaning they have an obligation to act in the best interests of the beneficiaries to the trust. As you draft this trust document with the help of your estate planning lawyer, you will also need to name who will benefit from the trust. This could be relatives, such as your grandchildren, or children or even your spouse. You could also name charitable organizations as beneficiaries when creating a charitable trust.
Creating the trust document and signing it is not the end of the road for establishing your trust. You must also transfer assets into the trust and allow the named trustee the authority to manage them. Some common examples of assets that typically go inside a trust include antiques, life insurance, real estate, investments, cash accounts and business interests. Sit down with your estate planning lawyer to discuss the options that are best for you when it comes to establishing a California trust.
Our Pasadena estate planning law office assists individuals and company owners with creating the right estate planning vehicles for your needs. Want to create a trust or discuss your plan? Schedule a consultation with us today.