There are many types of trusts, each serving a different situation. There are family trusts which allow the existing property and assets from your estate to be passed on directly to children or heirs rather than being distributed only to a surviving spouse. A family trust can also be used to manage a family business. Its purpose is to hold, shelter and ultimately protect the family's assets. There are revocable living trusts and irrevocable trusts, both of which serve a specific need. A revocable living trust is established when an individual transfers a portion, or the entirety, of his or her estate to a trust. This type of trust makes it very easy to distribute assets to heirs and beneficiaries, as all assets in a living trust are allow your family to avoid the waiting time for probate. In an irrevocable trust, the assets are fully protected, as no adjustments or changes can be made to the trust without the explicit consent of its assigned beneficiaries.
Some individuals or couples may wish to establish a charitable trust to distribute a portion of the estate's assets to the various charitable beneficiaries you have designated, on the specific timeline you establish. Having a life insurance trust is often beneficial when the objective is to protect the assets passed on to your beneficiaries at death. It can also have certain tax benefits which may make this type of trust a wise option. A special needs trust may be needed for a loved one with special needs or for an elderly family member. This type of trust serves to protect an individual's government benefits, inheritance or other assets so they are not spent in unwisely, or in a manner that would put benefits at risk. A special needs trust can also be set up to allocate a set allowance to the beneficiary to provide for basic necessities.
The most effective way to determine what type of trust is right for you is to seek counsel from a skilled Los Angeles trust attorney. A trust attorney at the Law Offices of David A. Shapiro, P.C. will be able to review your financial situation and your personal objectives, advise you about crafting the most effective estate plan with the goal of protecting assets from excessive taxation, and allowing your named beneficiaries to gain the most from your life's work. The trust lawyer at the firm can prepare the necessary documentation to establish a comprehensive estate plan that matches your unique needs and wishes. To get started, contact the firm and schedule a consultation today.