The creation of a trust is a powerful and strategic estate planning tool, but it shouldn’t be the only thing you consider in protecting your assets and providing for your future. You might be tempted to cross “estate planning” off your to do list once you’ve created a trust, but remember that you’ll need a strategy for all the assets not placed into that trust, too.
The most basic estate planning tool is a will which allows you to name who will receive your assets if you pass away and for you to name a guardian for your minor children. In many cases a will does not go far enough to protect your estate planning interests which leads many people to meet with a knowledgeable estate planning lawyer to talk about creating a trust.
However, if you have a trust created you might still need a will. In many cases some assets are not owned by the trust like personal property, payments due at your death and vehicles.
Those assets would still have to go through the probate process and you can use a tool known as a pour over will, which would allow assets to be distributed to your trust and governed by its provisions following this process.
Let your trust and your will work together to help close the gaps left by the other tool. While you’re creating your comprehensive estate plan, don’t forget about your power of attorney documents, either!
You want to meet with an experienced estate planning lawyer in CA as soon as possible if you have questions about how to align your individual estate planning strategies with your needs.