Experienced California Attorney Creates Secure Trusts
Comprehensive counselor helps clients in the Los Angeles area to provide trusts for their loved ones
At C. J. Smith Law, I utilize my experience to advise clients in the Los Angeles area and throughout California on the best means to meet their financial and estate objectives, including the efficient distribution of assets and estate tax avoidance. Trusts are legal entities created to hold and transfer property. These instruments provide benefits such as shielding your financial assets from losses due to liability and taxation, so your heirs can keep more of what you pass down to them. Distributing assets via a trust can also keep the details of your estate confidential, unlike the public probate process that is used for wills.
Knowledgeable California lawyer designs trusts tailored to your estate goals
There are several types of trusts, with each offering situation-dependent pros and cons. A qualified lawyer can help you select the type of trust instrument that addresses your legacy concerns. At C. J. Smith Law, I handle:
- Revocable trusts — As the grantor of a revocable trust, you can retain control of your assets during your lifetime and may revoke or revise the trust at any time. Living trusts are a popular form of revocable trust.
- Irrevocable trusts — Once you establish this kind of trust, its assets no longer belong to you, and you cannot amend the trust without your beneficiary's consent. However, any appreciated assets in the trust are not subject to estate taxes.
- Credit Shelter trusts — Also called bypass or family trusts, credit shelter trusts allow a grantor to place enough wealth in a trust for heirs so that the grantor can pass down the remainder of their wealth via a will that does not trigger an estate tax. The assets in the credit shelter trust are not subject to estate tax.
- Generation-skipping trusts — Also called a dynasty trust, a generation-skipping trust enables a grantor to transfer a substantial amount of tax-free money to beneficiaries at least two generations below them. It can be an excellent way to provide a legacy for your grandchildren.
- Qualified Personal Residence trusts — A QPRT prevents the value of a grantor’s primary residence or vacation home from being added to their estate. Establishing a QPRT may help avoid triggering the estate tax later on.
- Irrevocable Life Insurance trusts — This type of trust removes a grantor’s life insurance from the taxable estate. It can help to leave a tax-free legacy to loved ones.
- Qualified Terminable Interest Property trusts — A QTIP trust helps grantors in second marriages provide for the lifetime needs of a second spouse while preserving a legacy for children from the first marriage.
- Special Needs trusts — If someone in your family has a disability or special needs, this type of trust can be used to help meet future financial needs.
Trusts are very flexible instruments. C. J. Smith Law can help you create one that addresses your unique estate planning needs. I also counsel clients who want to augment their asset protection by reviewing existing insurance policies and recommending ways to reduce exposure to liability.
Contact a skilled California trust and estate planning lawyer
C. J. Smith Law serves clients throughout California who wish to protect their assets with a trust. Call me at 559-320-7028 or contact me online to schedule a free consultation at my Los Angeles office.