Estate planning and trust planning are essentially creating a road map for your family’s future. Take a brief look at estate planning in California and how to use trusts to ensure that your spouse and other loved ones are properly taken care of.
Estate planning is preparing for the transfer of property upon an individual’s passing. This can be a complicated matter if the person has extended family, such as children from previous marriages.
The best way to get this right is with professional counsel. This can include financial planners, accountants, life insurance reps, banks, brokers and lawyers.
During the process of estate planning, you can design trusts to manage assets on behalf of your spouse and other beneficiaries. These instruments are set up in different ways, ensuring that assets get passed on according to your wishes.
A great benefit here is that California does not dictate that trusts go through probate. With a trust, there can even be fewer taxes forced on your spouse after your passing.
Planning for second marriages
Tension among first and second marriages, and concern over the future of their children, isn’t uncommon. A surviving spouse with young children, by law, is entitled to acknowledgment in estate planning and real estate planning. Conflict in these matters arises when beneficiaries feel mistreated. Carefully crafted legal documentation that takes care of all necessary parties can minimize disputes between your former and current spouse.
Role of the lawyer
You can attempt to draft a will or trust with software, kits or online fill-in documentation, but these generic solutions don’t interpret the complicated labyrinth of trust and estate legalities, especially if you are on a second marriage. These forms do not have the ability to counsel effectively, and they do not afford you the personalized and nuanced planning that your loved ones need. This puts your family’s future in jeopardy as the courts might not honor your wishes.
You want to protect your legacy and assets. These matters are particularly critical if you have more than one family. An experienced attorney may help you ensure that your spouse and any children are taken care of through estate planning.