The Law Offices of Sallie Manley
The World Has Changed − Has Your Estate Plan?

Trusts: Your Questions Answered

Most people have a basic grasp of what a will is and what a will does. Other instruments of estate planning are not quite so clear in the minds of the general public. Nevertheless, statistics show that most California adults are likely to benefit from having a comprehensive estate plan in place. Of these, a large segment will benefit from having a trust that will help the couple or individual maintain control of assets despite unexpected life events, such as illness, sudden changes in finances or death.

At The Law Offices of Sallie Manley, in La Mesa, I will work with you to help you understand the pros and cons of having a trust based on your individual circumstances and goals and concerns. As an experienced California estate planning lawyer, I can also help you analyze provisions of an existing trust and steps you can take now to preserve its effectiveness and benefits.

How Is A Trust Beneficial?

A trust can be drafted to protect the owner’s ongoing management and control of assets and income during life and upon incapacity, and death. Trust provisions can be drafted to optimize the benefits of certain federal and state tax laws governing trust assets and income.

Special provisions can be drafted to protect certain persons, such as a spouse’s children by a prior marriage; special needs children enrolled in certain public benefit programs; and prodigal children at risk of squandering a lump-sum inheritance. Special arrangements for charitable gifts can also be incorporated.

Costs of administration of a trust can be lower and less time-consuming than court-supervised administration of a probate estate or conservatorship estate, yet rules governing fiduciary accountability still apply. Access to the court is still available.

Do You Need To Review Or Update Your Trust?

I encourage clients to review their trust documents at least annually to make sure they understand the terms of their own trust and can be aware of when to take certain steps and when discretionary revisions might be made. Common events that trigger the need for a formal review are change in life circumstance, such as death of a spouse or child or anyone named as the beneficiary or fiduciary; health challenges affecting capacity and medical costs, place of residence, and level of care; and economic or financial factors affecting administration of the trust.

Discover The Power Of Trusts

If you have a trust and are seeking an attorney to help you review your existing trust or better understand its terms or possibly revise certain provisions, please call my office at 619-916-3296 to schedule an appointment or email me. During our initial consultation, I can learn about your situation and suggest estate planning options and updates that best serve your needs.