Top Los Angeles Wills and Trust Lawyers
Seniors in California have many concerns about the security of their family and loved ones – for the time when they pass away. Seniors also have concerns about any family members who have health or special needs that need to be taking care of. Some of these concerns include well their spouse and children have enough funds and finances to handle their daily affairs? Will their children and grandchildren be able to afford to go to college? Who will raise the children if the other parent dies first? Are there any charities or organizations they want to help?
The best time to prepare your will is now. If you wait too long, you may develop dementia or other disorders which prevent you from preparing a will. You may tragically die due to a heart attack or other causes. As a general rule, the time to begin thinking about preparing a well is when you marry and when you have children. Anyone with a business should consider preparing a will.
In addition to wills, experienced estate planning lawyers explain the advantages of using trust agreements, including living trusts. A trust can be used to provide security for those in need. Trusts are also used to help minimize tax consequences and to prevent assets being from being attached by creditors
What are the benefits of preparing a will in Los Angeles?
Wills are used for the following reasons:
- Wills designate who the heirs and beneficiaries of your estate are. In Los Angeles, if you do not have a will, then your assets will be distributed according to the intestate laws of California. The intestate laws generally provide that your assets will be distributed to your spouse and children in specific proportions. Wills can be used to designate other beneficiaries such as siblings, parents, nonprofits, charities, and friends. Wills can specify the amount each heir gets. Wills can even leave out certain heirs if they’re already provided for – or for any reason.
- Wills designate who the executor is. An executor is a person you trust to handle your estate. The executor identifies all the probate assets. He or she then collects all of those assets, pays all the appropriate bills, and then makes arrangements to distribute the remaining amounts to the heirs designated in the will.
- Wills designates the guardians of your children. This is a major reason for preparing a will. A will is a primary method for designating who will take care of your children if you and your spouse or the co-parent are deceased. If you don’t have a will, then a relative needs to step forward and request the right to take care of your children. By using the will, you choose the person you trust most to take care of your children when you’re gone.
- Wills designate how your business is handled. If you have a small business such as a restaurant or a mom-and-pop store, you need to determine what happens to the business when you die. With a will, you can designate:
- Whether the business will be sold
- The method for selling the business
- How the business will be run if it is not sold
- How the value of the business is determined
People who prepare a will need to consider all the assets that they own including their home, bank accounts, retirement accounts, business interests, vehicles, stocks and bonds, jewelry, and other assets. Experienced Los Angeles wills attorneys review all of your assets and your liabilities. The lawyer will also review your personal desires and wishes for everyone you care about.
Los Angeles residents should consider reviewing their will once a year once the first well has been completed.
When should Los Angeles residents consider using a trust?
A trust is a legal document that transfers some of your property to a trustee for the benefit of the designated beneficiaries. Trusts are used for many reasons. A primary reason is to help avoid probate.
What are the different types of trusts that can be used in Los Angeles?
Some of the reasons for using a trust that your Los Angeles wills and trust lawyer will review with you are:
- An express trust. This trust places the assets in a trust on behalf of at least one beneficiary. The trustee is given powers to handle the income from the trust and to distribute the principal.
- Trusts for minors. This trust is used to ensure that minors have the funds they need for their health and education until they reach the age of adulthood or a specific age – such as 18 or 21. When the minor reaches adulthood or the designated age, the funds that remain in the trust are distributed to the adult.
- Trusts with life interests. This type of trust pays the income to a beneficiary for the lifetime of the beneficiary. When the beneficiary dies, the remaining funds in the trust are then distributed to a designated person such as another relative or distributed to an entity such as a nonprofit or a charity.
- A special needs trust. This trust is generally used for people who are being paid through a government program. Some government programs may disqualify a beneficiary if the beneficiary has too much income. With a special needs trust, the beneficiary can receive money from the trust and also receive the government benefit. Even without government benefits, a special needs trust may be needed to ensure that a child or relative with health problems receives the money he or she needs for health treatments and for daily living expenses.
A common type of trust used for married couples is a pour-over trust or standby trust. Here, each spouse creates a lifetime trust. when one of the spouses dies, their will transfers their assets to this trust. This way, the spouse who dies first makes sure that their spouse gets their assets. Pour-over trusts are used to save the amount of death taxes.
Other types of trusts include:
- Personal injury trusts so medical expenses can be paid to someone who is hurt in an accident
- Generation-skipping trusts are used to save on estate taxes
- Protective trusts are used to prevent creditors from seizing assets
At JS Abrams Law, our Los Angeles lawyers prepare wills and trusts that meet your financial requirements and your wishes for your family’s future.. Call us at 818-330-4515 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.
If you’re seeing a Los Angeles Wills and Trust Attorney to help you guide the way to plan ahead for a trust, schedule your consultation today by calling JS Abrams Law (818) 330-4515.
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