P.O.Box 225081, San Francisco, CA 94122

call us415-534-1200

San Francisco, California Attorney To Establish A Trust

Sunset District lawyer for setting up a trust

Lawyer For Irrevocable and Living Trusts in the East Bay Area

When creating an estate plan, one of your primary concerns is likely to ensure that your assets are distributed and used according to your wishes after your death. A will is a good option for naming heirs and beneficiaries and specifying the properties that should pass to each, but the administration of your will relies on an executor and may be held up in probate. If you are looking for an option that provides additional protection for your assets, you should consider establishing a trust.

At the Law Office of Martin Alperen, we can guide you through the appropriate procedures for establishing trusts that protect your assets both during your life and after your death. You can rely on our flexibility to provide convenient estate planning services where and when you need them, as well as our thorough attention to detail to ensure that your estate is in good hands.

What is a Trust?

When you create a trust, you place some of your assets in a fund managed by a third-party trustee. You can specify when, for what purpose, and to whom the assets in the trust will be distributed. By making these important decisions in advance, you can ensure that the assets in your trust avoid the public and sometimes lengthy probate administration process. You can also use a trust to protect your assets from the possibility of poor money management decisions on the part of your chosen beneficiaries. Depending on the type of trust, you may also be able to protect your assets from creditors, or from estate taxes after your death.

Choosing the Right Trust For Your San Francisco Estate Plan

Determining the right type of trust for your estate plan depends on your priorities. The two primary categories are revocable and irrevocable trusts, and each has its own unique benefits:

  • A revocable trust is often known as a living trust, and it allows you to use and access the assets within it throughout your lifetime. When you establish a revocable trust, you can specify how the assets should be managed, which can be especially beneficial in the event that you become mentally incapacitated before your death. However, you can also alter the terms of the trust whenever necessary to ensure that it continues to meet your needs. You can also name beneficiaries to the trust who will receive the assets after your death without having to go through probate.
  • An irrevocable trust cannot be amended after you create it, except with the consent of all named beneficiaries. This means that the assets in the trust become unavailable to you during your lifetime, but will be distributed to your beneficiaries as directed after your death without going through probate. One of the main benefits of an irrevocable trust is the additional protection it provides from lawsuits, creditors, and estate taxes. If your estate is valued above the threshold for federal estate taxes, you may consider placing a significant amount of assets in an irrevocable trust, which removes them from the value of your estate.

You may wish to establish a more specific kind of trust, such as a marital trust to allow assets to pass to your spouse or a charitable trust that allows you to name a charitable organization as a beneficiary. You may also choose to establish a trust in the terms of your will so that it does not take effect until after your death. Your attorney can help you understand the different required procedures according to the type of trust you intend to create.

Contact a Berkeley Estate Planning Lawyer

A trust can be an important part of your estate plan whether your estate has a high value, or you simply want to ensure the proper use of your assets while avoiding probate. Contact us at 415-534-1200 for a free consultation so we can help you understand whether a trust is right for you. We serve clients throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, including the East Bay, the North Bay, the Peninsula, Berkeley, Oakland, and more.

Back to Top