The 5 Benefits of a Trust Over a Will

Estate Lawyer

While some estates do fine with a typical will, large estates or family estates may find more value in protecting assets through trusts. A trust is a fiduciary tool that protects assets for beneficiaries of an estate. While often viewed as a tool for the incredibly wealthy, there is a growing awareness among people of all socioeconomic backgrounds as to the benefits of trust funds and the benefits over traditional wills.

  1. Avoid Probate

The most significant benefit for many people is the avoidance of probate. Probate is the process of authenticating a decedent’s will and distributing assets, but it can be time-consuming and expensive. Therefore, trusts that make funds and assets immediately accessible to the designated beneficiary offer a more desirable outcome.

  1. Protect Beneficiaries from Creditors

A common worry of those writing wills is that the creditors of their loved one’s will garnish the desired inheritance. While that is a possibility with wills, it is not possible with a trust. The ownership of the estate remains with the trust and not with the beneficiary, but the recipient can access their inheritance under the stipulations of the fund. However, if the beneficiary is named as a trustee, then they can manage their inheritance as they wish.

  1. Protect Needs-Based Governmental Benefits

Also, if you have a disabled child or grandchild, then a trust can protect their government benefits. If you do not have a trust and only stipulate the beneficiary in your will, then your loved one may lose their benefits or have to go through the complicated process of forming the trust after your death.

  1. Limit Estate Taxes

Also, a will alone subjects all of a decedent’s assets to estate tax. Meaning that money you think you are leaving to loved ones is actually reduced heavily through final estate taxes. A trust can protect funds and limit estate taxes in the future so that what you think you are leaving loved ones is the reality.

  1. Distribute Assets to Minors

Last, if you name any beneficiaries in a will who are minors, then you are opening an administrative nightmare for your surviving family because a court will have to appoint a conservator to receive the funds for your child. A trust, on the other hand, handles the administration of assets to beneficiaries, which means the court does not need to be involved.

Trusts are an essential document for protecting the inheritances and beneficiaries of your estate. Therefore, contact an estate lawyer in Allentown, PA and discuss how a trust can be set up for your specific needs and desires.

 


 

Thanks to Klenk Law for their insight into estate planning and benefits of a trust.

How Can A Trust Litigation Lawyer Help Me?

Living Trust Lawyer

Trust litigation attorneys understand that many trust and estate matters are personal, private, and unique. Emotions are high, as losing a relative or loved one can be challenging and complicated. Trust disputes can take a significant toll on individuals, and the counsel of a qualified and compassionate trust litigation lawyer can help you through every step of the process.

Trust and estate litigators are knowledgeable and experienced trial attorneys. They can represent you in even the most complex and high-profile disputes encompassing trusts, estates, and conservatorships. An attorney can represent you in claims against fiduciaries, guardianship disputes, will and trust contests, and charitable and exempt organization disputes. A lawyer has extensive experience in the probate courts, in-depth knowledge of the intricacies of trust law, and skill navigating the unique procedures related to trust and probate disputes.

Experienced in handling litigation in the probate courts

Seasoned trial attorneys have many years of experience in the probate courts and a thorough knowledge of the substantive law and unique procedures required to navigate trust litigation to a favorable outcome. Many aspects of litigation are unique to trust and estate disputes, so an in-depth understanding of trust and estate law is essential. 

Trust and probate issues often intersect with other legal matters and disciplines such as: 

  • Real estate law
  • Tax law
  • Corporate law
  • Securities
  • Insurance

In these circumstances, trust litigation professionals may need to draw on the resources of other lawyers who have extensive subject matter knowledge in those areas. Trust litigation lawyers frequently have established relationships with others who are well-versed in these matters and can bring them to bear to provide the best representation possible.

Litigating trusts and probate disputes may involve:

  • Claims for breach of fiduciary duty
  • Beneficiary disputes
  • Claims for breach of duty of loyalty
  • Will and trust contests
  • Judicial creation and modification of wills and trusts
  • Investment claims
  • Contested heirship
  • Charitable pledge disputes
  • Pretermitted and adopted heirs
  • Will and trust validity, 
  • Challenges to capacity
  • Matters of undue influence or elder abuse
  • Contested accountings
  • Contested powers of attorney
  • Fraudulent transfers
  • Spousal right of election
  • Partition actions
  • Family and estate management disputes
  • Wrongful death recovery
  • Conservatorships
  • Guardianships
  • And more

A trust litigation attorney can offer you an integrated approach that brings together numerous beneficial resources.

Benefits of a knowledgeable and experienced trust litigation lawyer

Benefits may include:

  • Aggressive litigation strategies and trial tactics 
  • Creative and practical problem-solving driven by and tailored to your unique needs and what you want to achieve 
  • Straight talk and effective communication that sets expectations and keeps you up-to-date with the process
  • Insight that can cut to the heart of the matter and bring a resolution sooner than you may expect
  • Unrelenting pressure on the other party and the court to resolve and expedite the case in your favor

Trust litigation is a means to an end, and every problem should be approached by considering what will serve your personal goals. It is crucial to have a dependable trust litigation lawyer during such a highly emotional and potentially difficult time. Contact the best trust lawyer in Phoenix, AZ for more information or to schedule a consultation.

 


 

Thanks to Kamper Estrada, LLP for their insight into estate planning and how a trust lawyer can help.

Applying for Post Bankruptcy Credit

Trust Lawyer

Having to file bankruptcy is an unpleasant thing, but despite what it might feel like, your financial life does not end when you file. One of the first questions most people have when looking into filing bankruptcy is whether or not they will be able to have a credit card. It turns out that applying for a credit card is not only possible in this situation, it’s actually recommended. This short guide will explain why and what you should know before applying.

Why a Credit Card Is Beneficial

The biggest reason applying for a new credit card after filing bankruptcy is so helpful is because it allows you to start building up credit once again. Filing for bankruptcy essentially eliminates all of your credit. It puts all your accounts back to zero. Having a credit card is helpful after a bankruptcy for the same reason it is helpful in any other situation. Building up credit can make it easier to be approved for loans, among other aspects that improve your financial health. This is more important when your credit situation is completely reset.

What You Need To Know 

First things first, you need to know how long your bankruptcy is going to stay on your credit report. A chapter seven bankruptcy will stay on the record for 10 years, while a chapter 13 bankruptcy will last for seven years.

Secondly, there are a few things you should do prior to applying to another credit card after filing bankruptcy:

  • Establish yourself – It is not a good idea to apply for a new credit card immediately after filling bankruptcy. Allow things to settle down for a month or two. Make sure you have some of the bigger, more important financial aspects taken care of first, such as your income, bills, and mortgages.
  • Evaluate your habits – You filed bankruptcy for a reason; it is best to figure out what you were doing wrong so you can prevent it from happening again. Take some time to take a close look at your daily and monthly habits and identify changes that need to be made.
  • Check your credit reports – Before you apply for a new credit card, make sure all your old accounts are properly indicated as included in the bankruptcy. You can get one free credit report per year from each of the major bureaus. Remember, the accounts will not be updated until at least 90 days after filing. If there are any errors, you will need to have them resolved before applying.

If you’re considering bankruptcy as a solution to your financial struggles, a bankruptcy lawyer in Memphis, TN can discuss your options. Call a law office today.

 


 

Thanks to Darrell Castle & Associates, PLLC for their insight into bankruptcy law and applying for credit afterward.

Who Handles Probate for an Estate?

Probate Lawyer Folsom, CA

When an individual passes away, their property and assets must be distributed to beneficiaries in the way they instructed within their will. If they did not leave a will, their estate is “intestate” and will follow the rules of the probate court to determine how the assets should be distributed amongst the closest blood relatives.

The Executor Begins Probate

Whoever is named as the executor for the deceased within the will is responsible for taking the will to the probate court clerk for filing and opening the estate. Then the court will schedule a hearing to officially appoint this person as the executor and provide them with a legal document giving them authority over the estate.

If there is no will, anyone may open the estate, but usually, the court will choose someone in the immediate family to be the executor such as a spouse, adult children, or parents.

Inventory of Assets

The executor will collect all the assets and gain control of any bank accounts and investment accounts. The will should outline anything else in their possession such as house deeds, titles for cars, life insurance policies, business ownership, or other valuables like artwork and jewelry. While waiting for the official probate hearing, the executor is responsible for keeping everything safe.

Determine Asset Value

If you are named executor, you will have to determine what the value of the entire estate is including debts and values of things that are not so obvious and may need a professional appraisal. Not all assets will go through probate, such as retirement accounts with a named beneficiary or jointly owned real estate. Some of these things will be taxable at the federal or state levels. Speak with an attorney to find out exactly what is liable for taxation because you will be the one to file estate income taxes, as well as pay final bills and other expenses related to settling the estate.

Distribute the Assets

The last step in probate is to distribute the assets to the beneficiaries. This occurs after all the bills and taxes are paid, and the court approves the final accounting and proceedings.

Not everyone must go through the probate process. If you set up a living trust for your assets, they go directly to your heirs upon your passing and they do not get swept up into probate or the public records, and your family does not have to spend time or money in court.

Speak with an experienced probate lawyer in Folsom, CA from Yee Law Group to find out what the best strategy would be for your estate, to keep it intact and avoid any unnecessary legal fees or taxes.

Why Every Business Owner Should Have an Estate Plan

Sacramento Estate Lawyer

Although estate plans are generally thought of as personal documents for those with large estates, there are many other people who would benefit from having one in place. Business owners are a prime example. Learn more about why every business owner should have an estate plan, and how you can work toward putting one in place to protect your investments. Call an estate litigation attorney from name of firm for details. In the meantime, the following is a brief overview.

Business Ownership Can Lead to Hefty Tax Bills

Taxes and business usually go hand in hand. Death of the owner does not necessarily change this. In fact, even a small business can pull a hefty tax bill after its owner has passed away. The consequence of this is often a lengthy probate process and significant depletion of the estate. Heirs ultimately suffer from this, sometimes being forced to pay taxes as high as 55 percent on the business and estate and may even be forced to sell the business to settle the debt.

Trusts, Transfers, and Buy-Sell Agreements

There are numerous ways that business owners can protect their businesses with effective estate planning, but some of the most commonly used include trusts, transfers, and buy-sell agreements. Trusts allow you to transfer the business prior to your death while you continue to run it, a buy-sell agreement can help your heirs avoid the mess of haggling with a partner about price, and transfers to children or other heirs who are partners in the business can reduce the risk of estate freezes. Each option is used for a unique situation, and there are certain aspects that should be considered before implementing any one of these plans. An estate planning attorney can help you determine which would be best for your situation.

Getting Started with Your Estate Plan

Whether you have been running your own business for years or have only started to think about opening your own business, the assistance of an experienced estate planning lawyer is crucial to the estate planning process. Not only are they able to ensure you understand how certain variables may impact your heirs and the future of your business, they can assist you in developing creative solutions to address or mitigate any of these special considerations. In addition to working with you on the business-related aspects of your estate plan, an experienced lawyer can also assist with your personal estate. This holistic approach can help ensure your heirs reap the most benefits.

Contact Estate Planning Lawyers

A Sacramento estate lawyer at Yee Law Group understands that each estate planning situation is different. It is why they offer all their clients personalized services. Learn more about how estate planning lawyers can assist with your estate planning needs. Call to schedule your consultation today.

What Is a Discretionary Trust?

Estate Attorney

When it comes to the different types of trusts, it may be daunting at first, to try to figure out each one. The discretionary trust is a trust that you set up for the benefit of the beneficiaries. This difference between this type of trust and other trusts, however, is that you give the trustee full discretion on when and what funds are allocated to the beneficiaries. The beneficiaries, on the other hand, do not have rights to the funds and the funds will not be regarded as part of their estate.

Discretionary Trust Explained

When it comes to most trusts, the beneficiaries have rights to a portion of the income. This all depends, of course, on the terms set forth. In some cases, they may receive a monthly allowance or receive all of their funds at a certain age. In this case, the beneficiaries are beneficial owners. This is not the case, however, for discretionary trusts.

Instead, the beneficiary cannot claim or demand funds at any stage in the process. The trustee has complete control over the funds. This means that the beneficiary must adhere to the rules set forth by the trustee. The trustee has full discretion over the allocation of funds.

Why Choose a Discretionary Trust

One of the biggest reasons that someone chooses a discretionary trust is to protect beneficiaries who do not have the ability to use funds wisely. It also protects those beneficiaries against creditors. If you have young children who are not an age to appropriately manage funds or if your beneficiary has poor credit or makes unwise decisions with his or her money, this is a great way to provide them with benefits and funds without them being able to mismanage it or have it taken by creditors. When you choose a trustee, make sure it is someone you trust will act in the best interest of your beneficiaries. This can be another family member or a family friend that you can trust with these types of decisions.

Trusts can be a great way to leave money for beneficiaries. For parents, there is often a question of what to leave to the children. If you have children, relatives or any beneficiaries that are not able to manage money wisely or are too young to have their own funds, then it’s important to choose someone you trust to handle those affairs. For more information about discretionary trusts, you should contact an estate attorney in Cherry Hill, NJ as soon as possible.

Thanks to Klenk Law for their insight into estate planning and discretionary trusts.

HOW A BICYCLE FRIENDLY CITY CAN REDUCE BICYCLE ACCIDENTS

Bike Accident Lawyer

Bicycle Friendly cities have become more and more popular over the last decade. People are choosing bikes over cars for a variety of reasons. Whether it’s for the health benefits, the environmental benefits, or the ease of transportation, there is a strong case for cities to help reduce bicycle accidents and keep their cyclists safe.

MAIN CAUSES OF BICYCLE ACCIDENTS ON THE ROADS

When cars are the dominant mode of transportation, it can be easy for drivers to overlook bicycles. Some of the more common collisions between bikes and cars are the following:

  • The Sneak Peak. This happens when a car pulls out of a side street, alley, or hidden driveway. Often times, the car will need to pull out to be able to check the cross-traffic. However, this can trap and block the cyclist’s path, leaving them no choice but to run into the car.
  • The Right Turn. This usually happens when a car is making a right turn at an intersection and fails to see or yield to the bicyclist on their right who is proceeding through the intersection.
  • The Left Turn. Similar to the right turn, this accident happens when a car making a left turn fails to yield to a bicycle proceeding straight through an intersection.
  • The Door Stop. The sort of collision occurs when the driver of a parked car opens the door directly in the path of a cyclist. It usually happens so fast and without any warning, and can be quite damaging to both the bike rider.
  • The Rear End. As the name implies, this accident occurs when the car rear-ends the bike and is perhaps the most common cause of auto-bicycle collisions.

HOW TO REDUCE BICYCLE INJURIES

In order to reduce the amount of injuries, it is imperative that cities implement infrastructures that help make the roads safer for everyone. Suggestions include:

  • Dedicated Bike Lanes. Studies have found that dedicated bike lanes can reduce injuries by 50%. They also help motorists and pedestrians become more aware of where they are diving and walking.
  • Traffic Calming. This term describes a variety of methods used to slow down cars as they move through commercial and residential neighborhoods. Cars driving at slower and safer speeds is a benefit for both pedestrians and bicyclists.
  • Cyclist Education. Education the community’s cyclists on how to ride safely is a big fact in reducing bicycle accidents. Safety precautions include:
    • Wearing a Helmet
    • Wearing bright and/or reflective gear
    • Using front and rear lights
    • Keeping a safe distance from vehicles and pedestrians
    • Obeying the “Rules of the Road”, like riding with traffic.

If you’ve been injured in a bike accident, contact a law office. An experienced bike accident lawyer in Central Phoenix, AZ can help you understand what sort of damages you may be entitled to and will fight to make sure you receive fair compensation for your injuries.

Thanks to Kamper Estrada, LLP for their insight into personal injuries and bicycle accidents. 

estate planning lawyer Sacramento CA

Why New Parents Should Have An Estate Plan

Talking about your estate, and what its future holds after your death, is a subject that routinely gets ignored. As easy as it is to put this topic aside, it is not something you want to ignore – especially when you’ve recently started a family. By starting to consider estate planning for new parents, you can feel peace of mind in knowing that your children will be emotionally and financially better off in the event of your untimely death. The Hollywood movie version of estate planning tends to involve a lot of drama; especially when it comes to discovering who gets what. When in fact there is much more to estate planning for new parents than a will.

The following are some of the basic things to consider when planning your estate as a new parent. You should also consult an estate planning lawyer to determine whether or not there are any specific items to include in your plan. For example, if you have a special needs child, you may want to create a special needs trust. Or, if you’re an avid gun collector, it is prudent you consider a gun trust; otherwise, there could be significant legal problems your minor child will have to overcome.

Life Insurance

Life insurance offers financial resources that your child would receive in the event of your death. This money would assist them in getting through the childhood, and into their adulthood.

A Living Will

A living will is the primary tool you’ll want to include in your estate plan. It essentially helps you to decide, ahead of your death, how your children and family will be cared for after your passing. The primary goal of new parents should be to name the guardians for your children. A will is the only way you can do this without leaving the decision up to the court.

Thinking about this could invoke various unpleasant emotions; however, it is better to make a decision now. If you don’t, your children could be left to caretaker that are not necessarily your first choice.

Your will can also be used to explain where your money, assets, and property will go to, and even specify how your pets should be taken care of – and by whom. Often, an estate planning lawyer will recommend new parents to create provisions for a testamentary trust. What this tool does is leave money in a trust for your children. Someone would be named to be in charge of this trust, and they will have the responsibility of maintaining it.

Beneficiary Designations

Some financial accounts will have payable on death designations or allow you to name a beneficiary. How you organize this will determine who will receive the money in these accounts. Bare in mind, whatever is included in these documents automatically supersedes what is written in a will. For example, if you listed your ex-spouse as a beneficiary on a POD account, and then named your new spouse as a beneficiary in the will, your ex would still receive the money in the event of your death. Common beneficiary designations include:

  • IRAs
  • Employer retirement plans
  • Investment accounts
  • Saving accounts
  • Checking accounts
  • CDs
  • Life insurance

Health Care Power of Attorney and Durable Power of Attorney

A health care power of attorney will name someone to make medical decisions on your behalf in the event you’re unable to do so on your own. Whereas, a durable power of attorney will name someone to manage, and make decisions, for your finances.

By Planning Your Estate as New Parent, You Gain Peace of Mind

If you take the time to consider all of the elements related to estate planning for new parents, you can put your family in a position that ensures financial and emotional support if you should pass away.

If you’d like to speak to an experienced Sacramento estate planning lawyer to discuss your options, please call Yee Law Group at 916-919-8839 today.

Leaving Money to an Irresponsible Family Member

Trust Attorney Roseville, CA

When putting together your estate plan, there is much to consider. It’s not uncommon to have a number of worries, especially when you have irresponsible children or family members that you would like to leave an inheritance to. When it comes to your children, the thought of leaving them without some of your wealth can feel like a hard pill to swallow. A trust may have the ability for you to leave money to someone whom may be irresponsible. This can provide you with more options when faced with a family member who may not yet be in a place to inherit assets from your estate. A trust creation lawyer may have the ability to review your situation and help you develop a trust to safeguard an irresponsible family member from themselves.

Protecting Loved Ones From Themselves

One of the best options for situations where a loved one is financially irresponsible is through the creation of a trust. A trust gives you the ability to leave some of your wealth to this individual while putting assurances in place that keep the assets you are leaving them intact. With assets in a trust, you will have the ability to appoint a trustee to oversee the management of a trust so that your wishes are explicitly followed. The trustee you have appointed will work to carry out your instructions in the manner you have indicated in the trust. The trustee will be the person to oversee the trust and can help to make sure that the trust isn’t spent frivolously by the financially irresponsible beneficiary.

Clearly Outlining Instructions Within the Trust

A trust can give you the ability to clearly outline instructions that indicate how you would like your trust to be managed after you are gone. Some ways you may be able to do this may include:

  • Disburse money over time
  • Provide payments or assets to loved ones based on their performance.
  • Put conditions in place in order for a beneficiary to earn their trust
  • Providing beneficiaries with access to their trust once they reach a certain age
  • Matching the income of a beneficiary or providing them with a percentage of their income earned
  • Instructions that outline how property may be used or not allowing property to be sold for money
  • Allocating funds to pay off certain debts that may be accrued by a beneficiary such as student loan debts

When creating a trust, it’s best to review all of your options. Trusts have the flexibility to be customized to meet your specific needs. With the help of a trust creation lawyer, you can ensure that no detail is left out of the trust.

Hiring an Attorney

Creating a trust can be a particularly complicated process, one that is best suited for an attorney. Hiring a lawyer with experience in this particular area of practice has the ability to assist you in making sure that you have left nothing out of the trust you are creating. When it comes to irresponsible beneficiaries, you will want to make sure that you have put the proper measures in place to safeguard the assets you have worked so hard to build. This will give your beneficiaries the ability to responsibly reap the benefits. It can be particularly unsettling when considering a beneficiary who may be irresponsible or not yet ready to manage the inheritance you are leaving them. An attorney can help you to properly create a trust and outline instructions within it that ensure that inheritance is not frivolously spent.

You have worked hard to obtain the assets and property that you are in possession of. The last thing you want to occur is to leave your estate to someone who will waste it away without a second thought. Despite this, it’s possible to put a plan in place to safeguard your assets for your loved ones. A trust may be able to provide you with the peace of mind you need in ensuring that the trust you leave your loved one is managed appropriately for the long term. Contact a trust attorney in Roseville, CA from Yee Law Group for help in determining the best way to safeguard your assets so that your loved ones are able to benefit from them.

Common Questions When Choosing a Trustee who is Trustworthy

Sacramento Trust Lawyer

Are you considering setting up a trust? Should this be the case, you are likely to be faced with a number of questions. A lawyer with experience in this area of practice can play an intricate part to this process. You will need someone with the capability of helping you to move through this process. This can ensure that in the end, you have made the appropriate steps towards setting up a trust that functions in the way you intended it to. One key decision that is often overlooked is the importance of carefully choosing a trustee. The role of trustee is not something to be taken lightly, nor is a position that just anyone should step into. Trustmakers should take care when appointing a trustee to oversee the day to day operations of their trust to ensure that the trust fund is operating in the manner you would like.

What is a trustee?

In some cases, you may hold the responsibility of managing your trust until you are no longer able to do so. When this occurs, the person you have appointed, known as the successor trustee will step in to assume control over the trust. A trustee is responsible for overseeing the trust. Within this role, the trustee must oversee assets within the trust and, follow the terms outlined in the trust to distribute assets to beneficiaries.

What should I look for in a trustee?

When in the process of appointing a trustee to oversee your trust, you should take great care in choosing wisely. When a trustee takes on their responsibilities, they will be taking on a role that can be challenging, time consuming and complicated. You will be putting your trust in their hands. Because of this, it’s important that you appoint someone who is not only willing to commit to this role; but also equipped with the responsibility and skill needed in order to do so.

Why is the role of a trustee so important?

Once you have made the decision to set up a trust account, one of the most important steps to take is to identify someone who will take on this role. The trust you have created is a way to carry on you final wishes and, your legacy. Because of this, the person whom you choose to oversee the trust is one of the most important decisions you need to make. The trustee is responsible for overseeing the trust, managing any complications as they arise and carrying out your wishes to the fullest extent.

Creating a trust can provide you and your loved ones with a number of benefits. The trustee whom you choose to oversee the trust you have created will carry an enormous responsibility. Take care that this role is appointed to the right person to ensure that your trust is managed in the way you deserve. Working with a Sacramento trust lawyer from Yee Law Group can provide services that may help in setting up your trust and guiding you in making the right decisions for your legacy.